Need to activate and expand NK cells without the requirement of feeder cells?

A Feeder-Free Platform for Generating Mature Natural Killer Cells

Natural Killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes that produce cytotoxic molecules upon recognition of foreign entities such as tumor cells and virus-infected cells. NK cells can be activated and expanded ex vivo for autologous (patient-derived) or allogeneic (healthy donor-derived) cell therapy. Advantageously, clinical trials have shown that therapeutic NK cells do not elicit notable adverse side effects typically caused by T cell therapies. Sources of NK cells include peripheral blood, cord blood, hematopoietic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. NK cells from peripheral and cord blood have progressed into late-stage clinical trials armored by Chimeric Antigen Receptor or in combination with therapeutic antibodies.

The adaptive biology of NK cells makes these cells efficacious in diverse therapeutic modalities and clinical indications5. NK cells express activating and inhibitory receptors that recognize ligands on self and non-self-cells. These receptors enable NK cells to identify and lyse diseased cells through NK cell effector functions that include the lytic synapse as well as cytokine, chemokine and growth factor release. Additionally, NK cells express CD16A, also known as the FcƴIII receptor; as the name suggests, the FcƴIII receptor binds to the Fc fragment of Ig antibodies and triggers Antibody Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC). Therefore, NK cells have the natural ability to enhance therapeutic antibodies. Lastly, like T cells, NK cells can be engineered to express Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) to recognize antigens on the target cells for lysis. Both ADCC and CAR activities of NK cells showed encouraging results in clinical trials.

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