Type: Unmodified invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell therapy, based on a cell type that combines features of T cells (adaptive immunity) and NK cells (innate immunity).
Status: Agenus on February 4 announced positive preliminary results from its Phase I trial of iNKT cell therapy in patients with moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19 through its cell therapy subsidiary, AgenTus Therapeutics. Preliminary data showed that of four patients dosed to date, three patients were extubated and released after treatment. Two of these patients were extubated within 24 hours of dosing.
Dose escalation is expected to be completed in the first half of this year for an initiation into a Phase II trial with data readouts expected in the fourth quarter.
According to Agenus, iNKTs express a molecule known as invariant TCR (iTCR) at their cell surface. iTCRs are highly specific to iNKTs and are not expressed by normal tissue. In the theoretical event that iNKTs trigger severe adverse events in a patient, iTCR can be targeted with a specific antibody to kill iNKTs without killing healthy immune cells. AgenTus has IP rights over such an antibody.
COVID-19: 300 Candidates and Counting
To navigate through the >300 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:
● FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.
● DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data.
● KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.
● TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.
GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types: