Select Page

NK-92® Cell Based Bioanalytical Solutions are the Key to Optimizing R&D and Commercial Product Development Efforts for Monoclonal Antibodies, Bi-Specifics and Related Biological Products

SAN DIEGO–May 1, 2019– Brink Biologics, Inc., a NantKwest, Inc. (Nasdaq:NK) affiliate who serves as exclusively-licensed distributor of NantKwest’s proprietary NK-92® natural killer cells, offers a variety of research grade aNK™ and haNK® cell lines for non-clinical laboratory use in discovery, translational and developmental research and lot release testing for commercial products ranging from monoclonal antibodies, bi-specific biologics, cytokines and other bioactive products.

Using living cells for functional assays such as ADCC, ADCVI and Cytokine Release Assays approximates closely what one would see in live animal models. Through the use of NK-92® natural killer cells in these assays, assay variability and unreliability are minimized. For this reason, NK-92® cells are rapidly becoming the preferred next-generation bioanalytical testing solution among large pharma commercial developers, biosimilar developers, medical research institutions, universities and the global research community.

Through a limited arrangement, Brink Biologics is pleased to announce that the company has non-exclusively licensed its next generation bioanalytical testing solution to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

Jeannine Coburn, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will use the cells in her research into the development of clinically translatable drug delivery strategies and three-dimensional in vitro human disease models using biologically-derived biomaterials.

“This agreement demonstrates the respect that research institutions have for NantKwest’s proprietary rights in its innovative cell lines and foundational technologies. Every laboratory should get its NK-92® cells from Brink Biologics, which is the only licensed commercial and research distributor of genuine NK-92®,” said Mark Kokes, Chief Intellectual Property Officer of NantWorks, LLC, supporting Brink Biologics and NantKwest.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Chairman and CEO of NantKwest added, “With over 200 publications citing the use of NantKwest’s NK-92® cells, the unique, enabling and proprietary characteristics of these novel natural killer cells are well established. NK-92® cell-supported assays have become the trusted and increasingly popular choice of large pharma and biotech companies for their growing antibody development programs and commercial product release testing.”

Dr. Soon-Shiong continued, “These novel and proprietary cells form the foundation for NantKwest’s clinical-stage aNK™, haNK®, and t-haNK™ natural killer cell-based therapeutics programs and, through Brink Biologics’ offering, they also represent a unique, next generation bioanalytical testing solution. We are therefore very pleased to announce this license agreement with Worcester Polytechnic Institute.”

About Brink Biologics

Brink Biologics, Inc. (BBI) is a NantKwest, Inc. (NASDAQ: NK) affiliated next-generation bioanalytical testing solutions company located in the prestigious Torrey Pines biotechnology science park in San Diego, CA. NK-92® cells, aNK™ and haNK® cells are natural killer cell lines originating from a singular source, established in stable cultures under GLP & cGMP conditions and further modified and assembled into distinct panels of cell-lines, suitable for a range of laboratory testing applications. These Neukopanel® Cell Lines include CD16 expressing NK-92® cell lines, providing for the first time the means to establish a consistent, robust, and reliable assay for assessment of ADCC activity.

NEUKOPANEL is a trademark of Brink Biologics, Inc.

For additional information and licensing inquiries, please visit

About NantKwest Inc.

NantKwest, a member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies, is an innovative clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on harnessing the power of the innate immune system by using the natural killer cell to treat cancer and virally induced infectious diseases.

NantKwest is uniquely positioned to implement precision cancer medicine, with the potential to change the current paradigm of cancer care. Natural Killer (NK) cells are a safeguard in the human body designed to recognize and detect cells under stress due to cancer or viral infection. NantKwest’s “off-the-shelf” activated NK cell platform is designed to destroy cancer and virally infected cells from the body. The safety of our NK cells as well as their activity against a broad range of cancers have been tested in phase I clinical trials in Canada and Europe as well as in multiple phase I and II clinical trials in the United States. In addition to being a universal cell-based therapy that does not require individualized patient sourcing or matching, our NK cell products have been largely administered in the outpatient setting as an “off-the-shelf” living drug.

With the capacity to grow active killer cells as a living cancer therapy, our NK cells have been designed to induce cell death against cancers and virally infected cells by several mechanisms, including: (i) innate killing, whereby all of our NK platforms recognize the stress proteins typically found on cancer cells, which, upon binding, release toxic granules to immediately kill their targets; (ii) antibody-mediated killing with our haNK® platform, which are NK cells engineered to express antibody receptors that can bind to therapeutic antibody products, thereby enhancing the cancer cell killing effect of that antibody; and (iii) Chimeric Antigen Receptor directed killing using the taNK® platform, which includes NK cells engineered to incorporate chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to target tumor-specific antigens found on the surface of cancer cells. All three modes of killing (innate, antibody-mediated, and CAR directed killing) are employed by our t-haNK™ platform, which is an innovative combination of our aNK, haNK® and taNK® platforms in a single product.

Our haNK®, and t-haNK™ platforms have been designed to address certain limitations of CAR T-cell therapy including the capability to infuse cell therapy in an outpatient setting which allows for potential reduction of risk for serious cytokine storms and protracted serious adverse events. In Phase I and II clinical trials in patients with late stage cancer, our NK cells have been administered as an investigational outpatient infusion safely with greater than 300 infusions to date at a dose of 2 billion cells per infusion.

By leveraging an integrated and extensive genomics and transcriptomics discovery and development engine, together with a pipeline of multiple, clinical-stage, immuno-oncology programs, we believe NantKwest is uniquely positioned to be the premier immunotherapy company and transform medicine by delivering living drugs in a bag and bringing novel NK cell-based therapies to routine clinical care.

NK-92, aNK, haNK, taNK, and t-haNK are trademarks of NantKwest, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning or implying the Company will be successful in improving the treatment of cancer. Risks and uncertainties related to this endeavor include, but are not limited to, obtaining FDA approval of our NK cells as well as other therapeutics as part of the NANT Cancer Vaccine platform as a cancer treatment.

Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, these forward-looking statements do not constitute guarantees of future performance, and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

These and other risks regarding our business are described in detail in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and we disclaim any obligation to update these statements except as may be required by law.

Media Contact:
Jen Hodson