Expansion Technology

Expansion Technology

A current bottleneck in the NK and CAR-NK cell therapy field is that expanded NK cells by currently available technologies are phenotypically exhausted, insufficient, and short lifespan in vivo.

NAKI’s proprietary technique, using a human B-lymphoblastoid cell line-721.221 expressing membrane-bound IL-21 (mIL21) feeder cell expansion system, promotes a less-differentiated, memory-like NK and CAR-NK cells, with enriched metabolic pathways and less fratricides.

The advantages of our 221-mIL21 NK expansion system include:

  1. The expansion system used by currently available technologies require an additional NK cell isolation step. As NK cells only represent 5-15% of the total lymphocytes in peripheral blood, this step will result in a significant loss in starting NK cells, and increase the cost of manufacturing process, which results in lower expansion rate with high cost. Our current system does not require NK cell isolation step, which (1) simplifies the protocol and (2) reserves the limited amount of NK cells.
  2. The number, purity, and functionalities of NK and CAR-NK cells using 221-mIL21 NK expansion system are superior to the currently existing technologies.

Collectively, the 221.mIL21 expansion system adds substantial value to the adoptive NK cell transfer and CAR-NK therapies by providing:

  1. More simplified protocol
  2. Robust and reproducible protocol with large scalability
  3. Higher NK cell purity and expansion rate
  4. Less-exhaustive, long-lived NK cells
  5. More affordable adoptive NK cell and CAR-NK therapies in the near future.