NK Cell Therapy Potential in Treating COVID-19 and Other Viruses

Allen Feng, PhD, chief scientific officer, HebeCell, discussed the company’s NK cell technologies.

“We actually collaborated with a biologist in the University of Massachusetts. We have, in principle, proved that our NK cells, without any engineering, can clear at least 4 different kinds of virus-infected cells, even deadly viruses. We're definitely interested in trying to develop that kind of therapy, because the advantage is you can make large batches and can cyropreserve this kind of therapy, for COVID-19 or other viruses.”

Although hematopoietic stem cells remain a popular option in cell therapy, HebeCell Corp is instead using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to create natural killer cell (NK) therapies for immuno-oncology indications. The approach, using their scalable feeder-free iPSC-NK platform has manufacturing and availability advantages over traditional chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies

GeneTherapyLive spoke with HebeCell’s chief scientific officer, Allen Feng, PhD, to learn about their NK cell therapies. He also discussed the recent funding from Jacobio Pharmaceuticals to help support the development of next-generation iPSC-CAR-NK therapies for new indications. He touched on what these new indications may be for the company to explore next.

REFERENCE
HebeCell raises $53 million in series A financing to advance unique off-the-shelf PSC-CAR-NK products into clinics. News release. HebeCell Corp. August 31, 2021. https://hebecellcorp.com/hebecell-raises-53-million-in-series-a-financing-to-advance-unique-off-the-shelf-psc-car-nk-products-into-clinics/