Client NewsRoquefort Therapeutics Plc – Significant Mesodermal Killer Cell Milestone
Roquefort Therapeutics (LSE:ROQ, OTCQB:ROQAF), the Main Market listed biotech company focused on developing first in class medicines in the high value and high growth oncology market, announces that the Mesodermal killer (“MK”) cell program has reached a significant milestone.
As announced in September 2022, the Company’s MK cells are a proprietary and novel class of cellular medicine. While MK cells kill cancer cells directly, their more profound effect is the activation of natural killer (“NK”) cells. As previously announced, this direct killing of cancer cells and activation of NK cells to increase cytotoxicity have each been demonstrated in validated in vivo models of lymphoma and myeloma.
In the new results announced today, MK cells were tested in combination with NK cells and showed: (1) the activation of NK cells; and (2) that this activation produced up to a two-fold increase in cytotoxicity over NK cells alone in three different difficult to treat cancers, which was statistically significant*:
· Ovarian cancer (P<0.01)
· Acute myeloid leukemia (P<0.05)
· Multiple myeloma (P<0.01)
This demonstration of the activation of NK cells in multiple cancer types including solid tumours, lymphomas and leukaemia is a significant commercial milestone because the NK cell activation is a highly attractive modality for large pharmaceutical companies. The recent transactions in this niche market include the $1.4B partnership between Sanofi and Innate Pharma and >$300M Gilead and Dragonfly Therapeutics transaction for Innate and Dragonfly’s proprietary activators of NK cells.
The Company’s MK cells will now progress into further in vivo studies in validated models of NK cell activation and cancer cytotoxicity.
Roquefort Therapeutics CEO Ajan Reginald said:
“This is an excellent set of results which demonstrates the Company’s strategy to select and acquire novel medicines and to rapidly develop them to reach significant commercial milestones.
“Our MK cells combined with natural killer cells show a profound cancer killing effect across solid tumours, lymphoma and leukaemia. The NK cell activator is a highly attractive market niche with a number of recent high value transactions. Today’s results build on the excellent results we have reported for our siRNA and Midkine programs.
“Our portfolio is attracting interest from Big Pharma and private equity, and in line with our strategy, we are engaged in discussions with these potential partners. In the meantime, we will continue to deliver these value enhancing milestones across our programs on time and within budget.”
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