Candidate: Natural Killer (NK) immunotherapy targeting SARS-CoV-2

Type: NK cells leveraging Cytovia’s proprietary bi-functional technology, developed by co-founder Jean Kadouche, PhD. and novel antibodies neutralizing or blocking SARS CoV2, designed by Macromoltek, a computational antibody discovery company. The selected bi-functional antibodies

Status: Cytovia and Macromoltek said April 7 it will expand its NK immunotherapy programs beyond cancer and infectious diseases to include COVID-19, with plans to select an NKI immunotherapy candidate to begin clinical trials by year’s end, and make it available to patients in 2021. The companies will use a bi-functional approach they said holds potential to minimize virus escape from the immune response, thereby inhibiting the intensification of the inflammation leading to Acute Respiratory Syndrome (ARS). The activation of NK cells through the NKp46 receptor aims to destroy the virus-infected cells while the other arm can either block the entry of the virus into epithelial cells or neutralize circulating viruses.

NK activating antibodies were licensed last month from Yissum, the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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:


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