Artiva Biotherapeutics Announces Agreement with Merck to Evaluate Combinations of NK Cells with Tri-Specific NK-Cell Engagers
Artiva to provide clinical-grade NK cells from its AlloNKTM platform for assessment in combination with tri-specific NK-cell engagers
SAN DIEGO, April 11, 2022 — Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., an oncology company whose mission is to deliver highly effective, off-the-shelf, allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Under the agreement, Merck will evaluate the therapeutic potential of combinations of tri-specific NK-cell engager candidates with clinical grade AB-101 NK cells generated from Artiva’s AlloNKTM platform.
“We have established a fantastic working relationship with Merck over the last year and we are happy to expand our collaboration to include the combination of our AlloNK platform NK cells with tri-specific NK-cell engager candidates,” said Peter Flynn, Ph.D., cofounder and Chief Operating Officer of Artiva.
Artiva and Merck originally entered into a collaboration and exclusive license agreement in January 2021 for the discovery, development, manufacture, and commercialization of CAR-NK cells that target certain solid tumor-associated antigens. The collaboration leverages Artiva’s off-the-shelf allogeneic NK cell manufacturing platform, along with its proprietary CAR-NK technology, and includes two CAR-NK programs with an option for a third, none of which are in Artiva’s current or planned pipeline. Artiva’s platform supports large-scale production and cryopreservation of off-the-shelf allogeneic NK and CAR-NK therapeutics.
About Artiva Biotherapeutics
Artiva’s mission is to deliver highly effective, off-the-shelf, allogeneic NK cell-based therapies, utilizing our Manufacturing-First approach, that are safe and accessible to cancer patients. Artiva’s pipeline includes AB-101, an ADCC enhancer NK-cell therapy candidate for use in combination with monoclonal antibodies or innate-cell engagers. Artiva is currently advancing a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of AB-101 in combination with rituximab for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphomas. Artiva’s pipeline also includes AB-201, an anti-HER2 CAR-NK cell therapy candidate for the treatment of HER2-overexpressing tumors, such as breast, gastric, and bladder cancers, and AB-202, a CD19-specific CAR-NK cell therapy candidate for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. Artiva has entered into therapeutic NK cell collaborations with Merck and with Affimed GmbH. Artiva’s AlloNK™ platform incorporates cell expansion, activation, and engineering technology developed by Artiva’s strategic partner, GC Cell Corporation, a member of the GC family of companies, a leading healthcare company in Korea. Artiva is headquartered in San Diego.
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