Initial Products

The company’s initial products will target the blood cancers Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and Multiple Myeloma (MM).

Acute Myeloid Leukemia:

  • There are over 35,000 patients with AML in the major markets who have a 5-year survival of only 27%. The market is valued at over $153M in sales today, but is anticipated to grow to $1.6B in value by 2025 driven largely by the increased number of patients with relapsing disease4.
  • While NK cells have intrinsic anti-myeloid cancer cell activity, the targeting and selective killing of AML cells can be greatly enhanced by expression of a CAR specific to targeting AML, e.g. targeting antigens specific to AML stem cells.

4 Datamonitor, 2016

Multiple Myeloma

  • In 2013, there were 95,688 people living with MM in the United States. The number of new cases is 6.5 per 100,000 men/women in the population each year. The lifetime risk of acquiring the disease is 0.8% and the five-year survival is 48.5%. Thus, there is a large unmet need for more effective treatment of this condition.
  • ONK Therapeutics is developing a CAR-NK cell targeting CD38, which is highly expressed on myeloma cells and is a proven target for immunotherapy in MM. CD38 is also expressed on non-MM cells with higher levels of expression seen on regulatory T-cells and myeloid derived suppressor cells. ONK Therapeutics has shown that due to the nature of the CD38 CAR utilized in its product, covered in filed IP, there is little or no impact on non-myeloma cells.
  • ONK Therapeutics also plans to explore modifying its NK cells to express its proprietary TRAIL variants. The membrane expression of TRAIL has been shown to be more effective than soluble recombinant TRAIL in inducing apoptosis. ONK Therapeutics’s TRAIL variants are genetically engineered variants of wild type (WT) human TRAIL, modified by introduction of specific point mutations and designed to bind with higher affinity to activating TRAIL receptors (DR4 or DR5 or both) on tumor cells, while avoiding binding to decoy receptors. The expression of these TRAIL variants on NK cells provides advantages over expression of WT TRAIL alone, enhancing their cytotoxic activity compared to parental, unmodified NK cells.

Solid Tumors – Breast, Ovarian, Colorectal

  • ONK Therapeutics is also interested in developing NK cell-based products directed at a number of solid tumors, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer.
  • Early data is encouraging, which show that the choice of cancer specific targets and immune environment modifications, can significantly improve the killing of these cancers, especially following drug sensitization