Kuur Therapeutics is committed to transforming the lives of patients with cancer by developing the therapeutic potential of off-the-shelf engineered NKT cell therapies.
Our current focus endeavors to harness the natural properties of a specific subset of T cells, called natural killer T cells (NKT cells) and engineer them with additional features to enhance their anti-tumor efficacy.
We specifically focus on type 1 NKT cells, also called invariant NKTs or iNKTs. These NKT cells demonstrate several important biological differences when compared to conventional T cells, which we believe render them particularly well suited for the development of off-the-shelf CAR products for the treatment of hematological and solid tumors. In addition, to this differentiated natural cell biology, we have engineered innovative CAR constructs to further optimize the function, potency and therapeutic efficacy of the CAR-NKT cells.
Our innovative CAR-NKT candidates are being developed in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine. The first CAR-NKT product (KUR-501) is currently being investigated in a phase I clinical trial in pediatric patients with high risk, relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma. KUR-501 is an autologous CAR-NKT cell product that targets GD2, a tumor-associated antigen universally expressed in neuroblastoma. Our second CAR-NKT cell candidate (KUR-502) is an allogeneic (off-the-shelf) product targeting CD19+ B-cell malignancies. The FDA has allowed the first in human phase 1 study to begin and we are anticipating first patient treatment in 1H 2020. Our third CAR-NKT cell candidate (KUR-503) is another allogeneic product targeting the GPC3 molecule, which is highly expressed in hepatocellular (liver) cancer. This product is in the preclinical stage and we anticipate beginning human studies in 2021.
The company’s ambition is to develop a growing portfolio of allogeneic CAR-NKT products to treat patients across highly prevalent tumors where significant unmet needs remain.