Nektar and Collaborators Announce Publication of Preclinical Data on NKTR-255 and Its Observed Improvement of NK Cell Function in Multiple Myeloma


SAN FRANCISCO, August 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) today announced the release of preclinical data in Blood advancesthe open access journal of the American Society of Hematology, highlighting the effects of NKTR-255, a novel polymer-conjugated human IL-15, on natural killer (NK) cell function and proliferation in myeloma multiple (MM).

(PRNewsfoto/Nektar Therapeutics)

“These results published today in Blood advances demonstrate the promising antitumor activity of IL-15 by engaging natural killer cell biology in indications with immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments such as in multiple myeloma,” said Nikhil C. MunshiMD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, director of basic and correlative sciences at the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “Among other immune cells, NKTR-255-induced NK cell expansion and improved function contribute to more effective control of tumor growth in multiple myeloma, opening up a possibility for synergy with other immune cells. other anti-MM therapies such as anti-CD38 antibodies.”

The Dana-Farber’s team analyzed in vitro pharmacological properties of NKTR-255 by engaging the IL-15 pathway and stimulating NK cells against MM cells. Research also examined the anti-tumor activity of combining NKTR-255 with the anti-CD38 antibody, daratumumab, in vitro and live.

“The published data demonstrates that NKTR-255 not only enhances antitumor responses of human NK cells against MM target cells, but also increases ex-vivo expression of NK activating receptors and adhesion molecules. Additionally, studies in a humanized MM mouse model show that NKTR-255 improves in vitro antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) of NK cells and synergizes with daratumumab to reduce MM cell growth,” said Mariateresa FulcinitiPh.D., the lead author of this manuscript at Dana– Farber. These preclinical findings support Nektar’s strong clinical development program for NKTR-255 and further evaluation of the novel immunotherapeutic approach in MM, alone or in combination with monoclonal antibodies or potentially with other immunomodulatory drugs.

The main conclusions are summarized below:

  • NKTR-255 enhances antitumor responses of human myeloma-derived NK cells against MM target cells.

  • NKTR-255 enhances in vitro NK cell ADCC and synergistically with daratumumab to reduce MM growth in the humanized mouse model.

  • NKTR-255 increases ex-vivo expression of NK activating receptors and adhesion molecules.

  • The increased number and functions of NK cells show efficacy against MM cells in the context of their bone marrow milieu.

The full citation for this article can be accessed here.

About the NKTR-255

NKTR-255 is a biologic that targets the IL-15 pathway to activate the body’s innate and adaptive immunity. Through optimal engagement of the IL-15 receptor complex, NKTR-255 is designed to enhance functional NK cell populations and the formation of long-term immunological memory, which may lead to a sustained anti-tumor immune response and sustainable.

Preclinical findings suggest that NKTR-255 has the potential to synergistically combine with antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity molecules as well as enhance CAR-T therapies. Nektar has initiated a Phase 1 dose escalation and expansion clinical study of NKTR-255 in adults with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or multiple myeloma, as well as a Phase 1/2 clinical study of NKTR-255 in patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma head and neck squamous cell carcinoma or colorectal cancer. Nektar is also continuing its clinical oncology collaboration with Merck KGaA and Pfizer Inc. to evaluate NKTR-255 maintenance regimen in combination with avelumab, a PD-L1 inhibitor, in patients with locally urothelial carcinoma. advanced or metastatic bladder in the Phase II JAVELIN Mixed Study. Nektar is also designing a Nektar-sponsored Phase II study combining NKTR-255 with approved CAR-T cell therapies in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which it aims to initiate in Q1 2023.

About Nektar Therapeutics

Nektar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company with a strong wholly-owned R&D portfolio of investigational drugs in the areas of oncology, immunology and inflammatory diseases, as well as a portfolio of partner-approved drugs. Nektar is headquartered in San Francisco, Californiawith additional operations in Huntsville, Alabama. Additional information about the Company and its drug development programs and capabilities is available online at

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by words such as: “should”, “may”, “demonstrate”, “potential”, “designed”, “initiate”, “target” and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements we make regarding the therapeutic potential and future development plans of NKTR-255 and our other drug candidates in research programs, prospects and plans for our collaborations. with other companies, and the timing of the launch of clinical studies and the reading of data from our drug candidates. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor guarantees of future performance. Instead, they are based solely on our current beliefs, expectations and assumptions about the future of our business, our future plans and strategies, expected events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you should not rely on any such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements include, among others: (i) our statements regarding the therapeutic potential of NKTR-255 and our other drug candidates are based on preclinical and clinical results and observations and are subject to change as research and development continues; (ii) NKTR-255 and our other drug candidates are investigational agents and the continued research and development of these drug candidates is subject to substantial risks, including negative safety and efficacy in ongoing clinical studies (despite positive results from previous preclinical and clinical studies); (iii) NKTR-255 and our other drug candidates are in various stages of clinical development and the risk of failure is high and may occur unexpectedly at any stage prior to regulatory approval; (iv) the timing of the start or end of clinical trials and the availability of clinical data may be delayed or unsuccessful due to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory delays, slower than expected patient recruitment , manufacturing challenges, changing standards of care, changing regulatory requirements, clinical trial design, clinical results, competitive factors, or the delay or failure to obtain final regulatory approval in one or more significant markets; (v) we may not realize the expected cost savings we expect from our corporate restructuring and reorganization, (vi) patents may not issue from our patent applications for our drug candidates, patents that have issued may not be enforceable, or additional intellectual property licenses from third parties may be required; and (vii) certain other important risks and uncertainties set forth in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 5, 2022. Any forward-looking statement we make in this press release is based solely on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

Viviane Wu by Nektar Therapeutics



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