INCHEON, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Novocellbio Co., Ltd. conducted experiments using “NOVO-NK”, an autologous natural killer cell treatment at Seoul National University College of Medicine. It was confirmed that the autologous natural killer cell treatment agent NOVO-NK killed the human-derived COVID-19 coronavirus. Although there have been studies demonstrating both anti-cancer and antiviral effects of NK cell-based immune cell therapeutics, this specific experiment is the first in the world to confirm the effectiveness in killing the COVID-19 coronavirus.
In this experiment, monkey kidney cells (VeroE6 cells) infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) were treated with NOVO-NK cell. The results demonstrated that the therapy agent was successful in decreasing COVID-19’s effects in various controlled time periods and the COVID-19 coronavirus was almost killed within 6 hours.
The company is conducting further studies of NOVO-NK’s COVID-19 killing mechanisms with National Masan Hospital, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea.
NK cells are natural immune cells in the human body that attack cells infected with cancer, viruses, and bacteria and have a rapid immune response. There are numerous studies proving the effectiveness of NK cell in preventing the development, proliferation, metastasis, and recurrence of cancer and viruses.
NOVO-NK not only removes viruses and cancer cells, but it also increases a patient’s immunity, reducing the risk of reinfection arising from viruses’ or cancer cells’ mutation.
Last year, Novocellbio Co., Ltd. tested the anti-tumor efficacy of NOVO-NK using a lung cancer animal model. The result demonstrated a 30-40% tumor suppression when NOVO-NK was administered alone and 65-70% tumor suppression when combined with a standard chemotherapy agent—Cetuximab.
Cetuximab is a therapeutic agent that inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells. Cetuximab binds to the epithelial cell proliferation factor receptor (EGFR) on the surface of cancer cells, blocking an important pathway for cell division. When Cetuximab binds to EGFR expressed surface of cancer cells, NK cells bind to Cetuximab and function as a potent antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), ultimately inducing cancer cell death. This ADCC action is NK cells’ great advantage in chemotherapy.
Currently, Novocellbio Co., Ltd. is preparing for phase 1 clinical trial for NK cell therapy drug NOVO-NK, a study that is an indication for lung cancer.
NOVO-NK is a safe and active immune cell therapy that isolates NK cells from a small amount of a patient’s blood. NOVO-NK is highly active and mass-proliferated. As NOVO-NK uses a patient’s own immunity, it is expected to overcome the disadvantages and limitations of existing treatments in chemo or other immune cell therapy.
In addition, NOVO-NK is garnering attention as a next-generation treatment that can be used in combination with existing cancer or virus treatment methods. Novocellbio Co., Ltd. plans to further develop anti-cancer, autoimmune disease, and viral treatment through continuous research and development.