Candidate: COVID-19-targeting allogeneic Natural Killer (NK) cell combination therapy

Type: Combination of Kleo’s first non-oncology application of its Antibody Recruiting Molecule (ARM™) and GCLC’s NK cells

Status: Kleo on March 31 said it had entered a research collaboration with GCLC to rapidly develop a COVID-19-targeting allogeneic NK cell combination therapy, combining Kleo’s next-gen fully synthetic bispecific compounds designed to emulate or enhance the activity of biologics with GCLC’s allogeneic, or “off-the-shelf” NK cell therapies.

Earlier this year, Kleo received approval from the FDA to proceed with an ARM/NK clinical trial assessing the combination cell therapy in newly diagnosed, multiple myeloma patients. The ARM in that trial targets the cell surface protein CD38 and uses autologous cytokine induced memory like (CIML) NK cells to kill tumor cells.

In the context of COVID-19, the partners said, ARM acts as a neutralizing antibody to block direct binding on the virus to human cells, then enlists immune effector cells to eliminate viral particles and/or infected cells. The ARM can produce a long-term vaccination effect by activating and expanding immune memory cells.

COVID-19: 200 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >200 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: