The HyperTargIPS-NK project aims to combine new technologies from three research laboratories and a stem cell company to develop a revolutionary therapy for patients with devastating recurrent malignancies.

The therapy we are developing is based on allogeneic induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) that are differentiated into natural killer (NK) cells and further modified to a hyperactive state. In this way, we can produce highly potent tumor-destroying cells.

CAR NK-based cancer treatment is a promising new therapeutic pathway. However, the full potential of CAR NK therapies will only be realized when an off-the-shelf product is available to patients in need. iPS with its unlimited expansion potential is the ideal cell source for NK-based products. In this project, we use a novel iPS cell differentiation system which easily can be scaled to generate billions of functional NK cells.

We will target the NK cells against three life-threatening cancers for which new treatment options are urgent because they are considered among the most lethal cancers; i.e. pancreatic cancer, glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This will be done by utilizing novel state-of-the-art CAR, non-CAR and TRUCK-based regulators of NK activation to induce the hyperactivated NK cell state and prolong NK survival, providing enhanced NK response to tumors via tumor microenvironment remodeling.

Our iPS culture system, NK activation system and gene editing system have been designed for GMP compliance and validation of the production steps will be part of the project. The goal is to have a Hyper-Targ-IPS-NK-cell therapy lead ready to prepare for clinical trials.

Funded by the European Union under Grant Agreement No 101099054

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council (EIC). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.