Green Cross Labcell and Feldan Therapeutics, a Canadian biotechnology company, said Monday that they would jointly head the project to develop a low immunogenicity, high-performance natural killer (NK) anticancer treatment using genetic scissor technology.
The project, a part of the 2017 Korea-Canada Joint Technology Development Project, is sponsored by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) 산업통상자원부. The project aims to secure advanced technology through joint research between Canadian research and development institutions and Korean companies. It also supports companies looking to advance to overseas markets.
The low immunogenicity and high-performance natural killer cell therapy is a next-generation anticancer immune cell therapeutic agent that combines CAR-NK technology based on natural killer cell mass production and freezing formulation technology of Green Cross Labcell, and gene scissors transfer technology of Feldan Therapeutics.
Under the agreement, Green Cross Labcell will receive 700 million won ($643,618) for three years from MOTIE, while Feldan Therapeutics will receive 600,000 Canadian dollars ($471,901) from the Canadian National Research Council (NRC).
The two companies expect the therapeutic agent will have a sufficient anticancer effect with a small number of natural killer cells as it is equipped with a function to more efficiently remove cancer cells by staying inside the patient for a long period.
“The selection of this project proved that the technology used to develop low-immunogenicity high-function natural killer cell therapy using gene scissors was acknowledged not only in Korea but also overseas,” said Hwang Yu-kyung 황유경, director of Green Cross Labcell’s 녹십자랩셀 cell therapy research center. “By developing additional next-generation natural killer cell therapy drug through the project, Green Cross Lab will continue to maintain its world-class status in the field.”
The company has also entered phase 2 clinical trial for MG4101, a liver cancer treatment using NK cells. The substance is currently the leading NK cell treatment preparing for commercialization.