GT Biopharma's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Raymond W Urbanski MD, PhD, Provides Further Insight into the Recent Activity in the Natural Killer Cell (NK) Space
LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / October 4, 2018 / GT Biopharma Inc. (OTCQB: GTBP and Euronext Paris GTBP.PA) is an immuno-oncology biotechnology company focused on innovative treatments based on the company's proprietary NK-engager and Bispecific Antibody Drug Conjugate platforms.
Only a few weeks ago I addressed the positive impact of the collaboration between Affimed and Roche/Genentech which involved a $96M upfront with $5B in milestone/royalty payments, announced on August 27th. Now another deal has been announced between another NK cell engager company, Dragonfly, and Merck for approximately $700 million. A continuation of the affirmation that NK cells are the new T-cells. Utilizing NK cells as a treatment for solid and liquid tumors is an area with strong science and amazing potential; a concept validated by companies such as Genentech and Merck.
Dragonfly is an NK cell engager company cofounded by UC Berkeley NK cell specialist David Raulet, Ph.D., a colleague of Dr. Jeffrey Miller's. As I have stated previously, visionary researchers such as Dr. Jeffrey Miller at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, understood the potential of NK cells in the treatment of cancers. It is Dr. Miller's innovative platform that GT Biopharma has licensed, and we continue to work in close collaboration with Dr. Miller and his team of NK specialist.
Just as with Affimed, there are many similarities between Dragonfly and GT Biopharma. However, there are also real and relevant differences. Their platforms utilize fusion proteins with one end binding to NK cells and the other targeting a tumor antigen. Yet differences in the platforms reside in the way the proteins are constructed and how the receptors they target. The crucial difference resides in the way these platforms lead to, or not, NK activation and proliferation, without which the full therapeutic effect is unlikely to be realized. Without a specific stimulatory agent, the NK cells become exhausted as their numbers dwindle. GT Biopharma's innovative NK cell-engager platform incorporates IL-15, a potent activator and proliferator of NK cells. Other NK cell technologies do not address this critical component necessary for full biologic effectiveness.
NK cell area is quickly becoming the forefront of immunotherapy for cancer and other diseases. GT Biopharma will continue to advance the science and drive our programs forward, doing so in an expeditious and cost-effective manner. The aim is to get our innovative NK cell engager moieties into the hands of practicing health-care providers as rapidly as possible; a task we are focused on accomplishing.
About GT Biopharma, Inc.: GT Biopharma, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company predominantly focused on the development and commercialization of immuno-oncology products based off our proprietary Tri-specific Killer Engager (TriKE), Tetra-specific Killer Engager (TetraKE) and bi-specific Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) technology platforms. Our TriKE and TetraKE platforms generate proprietary moieties designed to harness and enhance the cancer killing abilities of a patient's own natural killer, or NK, cells. Once bound to a NK cell, our moieties are designed to enhance the NK cell and precisely direct it to one or more specifically-targeted proteins (tumor antigens) expressed on a specific type of cancer, ultimately resulting in the cancer cell's death. TriKEs and TetraKEs are made up of recombinant fusion proteins, can be designed to target certain tumor antigens on hematologic malignancies, sarcomas or solid tumors and do not require patient-specific customization. They are designed to be dosed in a common outpatient setting similar to modern antibody therapeutics and are expected to have reasonably low cost of goods. Our ADC platform can generate product candidates that are bi-specific, ligand-directed single-chain fusion proteins that, we believe, represent the next generation of ADCs.
GT's nervous system platform is focused on acquiring or discovering and patenting late-stage, de-risked, and close-to-market improved treatments for nervous system diseases (Neurology and Pain) and shepherding them through the approval process to the NDA. GT Biopharma's neurology products currently include PainBrake, as well as treatments for the symptoms of myasthenia gravis, and motion sickness.
Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this release are forward-looking and made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are inherently unreliable and actual results may differ materially. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the payment of dividends, marketing and distribution plans, development activities and anticipated operating results. Factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include such factors as the Company's ability to accomplish its business initiatives, significant fluctuations in marketing expenses and ability to achieve and expand significant levels of revenues, or recognize net income, from the sale of its products and services, as well as the introduction of competing products, or management's ability to attract and maintain qualified personnel necessary for the development and commercialization of its planned products, and other information that may be detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Company website: www.GT Biopharma.com
SOURCE: GT Biopharma Inc.
Released October 4, 2018