Natural killer cells are the innate immune cells that are naturally involved in tumor immunosurveillance. These cells have direct cytotoxic activity and also secrete proinflammatory cytokines upon activation. Natural killer cells’ cytolytic activity is dependent on a balance between inhibitory signals and activating signals provided by the host cells. These demonstrate particular promise for cellular therapy, as they can identify and eliminate tumors that have altered major histocompatibility class I expression.

The therapeutic development based on Natural Killer Cell Therapies deals with around 40+ active pipeline drugs including major products of NantKwest, Sorrento therapeutics, and Fate Therapeutics of NK Cell based Therapies and Altor Biosciences, Innate Pharma and Affimed of NK cells Augmenters. The pipeline coverage is specified with the 10+ active products under NK cell based therapies and 20+ active products under NK cell augmenters (further classified as enhancers and activators).

NK cell therapy is the most promising therapy, undergoing development in clinical and non-clinical phases for the treatment of so far incurable forms of cancer and various other indications. The upcoming years will mark significant progress in NK cell therapies based on the available knowledge of NK cells, as these cells will be much more amenable for therapeutic purposes based on their high cytotoxicity and generally demonstrated safety. This concerted the effort in the development of NK cell-based immunotherapies to achieve novel therapeutic products. The development of broadly applicable NK cell-based therapies should extend the currently more restricted available T-cell based therapies and could thus boost the long-standing promise of cellular cancer therapies. The broad range of targets under Natural Killer Cell Therapies have majorly influenced the wide range of development for this mechanism of action. These targets have been greatly focused by the companies to manufacture drugs for the treatment of a large number of different indications. The current pipeline therapeutics of Natural Killer Cell Therapies is emerging as a promising tool with the development of medications under process by various pharmaceutical companies. NantKwest and Affimed having a maximum number of NK Cell based Therapy products under development followed by Innate Pharma, Altor Biosciences, Sorrento Biosciences, and Fate Therapeutics of NK Cells Augmentors. The recent collaborations, licensing opportunities, technological applications and other development activities, focusing on the advanced development of Natural Killer Cell therapies have also accelerated the development process. The current pipeline scenario of NK Cell Therapy market is broad and is growing in a fast pace with the focus on a large number of therapeutic targets for a wide range of indications.

Associate Analyst