Natural Killer (NK) cells are a type of cytotoxic granular lymphocytes critical to the innate and adaptive immune systems. NK cells detect and destroy the abnormal cells like cancer cells and infected cells. They also regulate inflammatory and immune responses by activating immune cells.
Based on the findings that chronic neuroinflammation is a hallmark in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and that the functions of NK cells are abnormal in AD patients, researches using NK cells haves recently expanded to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), besides cancers and infections.
NKMAX (KOSDAQ: 182400), headquartered in Seongnam, South Korea, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative immunotherapy, named ‘SuperNK (SNK)’, which may overcome the limitations of conventional NK (Natural Killer) cell therapy. NKMAX used its proprietary cell culture platform technology to develop SNK, allowing the large-scale production of NK cells with improved quality.
NKMAX is currently conducting its phase 1 clinical trial of SNK01 in patients with mild cognitive impairment and AD in Mexico through its American subsidiary NKGEN Biotech (formerly NKMax America), which is estimated to completed in September 2022.
However, it is worth reminding that NK cell might be double-edged sword like the microglia in AD. The findings from the previous studies have not been consistent. Some studies have shown that NK cells attenuate amyloid-induced cellular toxicity, however others have found that NK cells may promote neuroinflammation and cognitive decline in the AD mouse model. Regarding the exact roles of NK cells in AD, the jury is still out.
Single Center, Open Label, Phase 1 Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability and Exploratory Efficacy of SNK01 in Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04678453