Biopharmaceutical Company Nkarta Therapeutics Raises $114 Million

By Dan Anderson ● September 11, 2019
  • Biopharmaceutical company Nkarta Therapeutics announced it has raised $114 million in Series B funding

Nkarta Therapeutics — a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to fight cancer — recently announced it closed an oversubscribed $114 million Series B financing led by new investor Samsara BioCapital. And additional new investors include Amgen Ventures, Deerfield Management, Life Science Partners, Logos Capital, and RA Capital Management who were joined by existing investors including NEA Ventures, Novo Holdings A/S, and SR One.

In conjunction with the funding, Samsara partner Mike Dybbs, Ph.D. and LSP general partner Fouad Azzam, Ph.D. have joined the company board of directors.

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“Since the company’s founding, we have worked to bring our potentially transformative, engineered and off-the-shelf NK cell therapies to patients,” said Nkarta Therapeutics president and CEO Paul Hastings. “With multiple INDs expected in the next year for an array of hematologic and solid tumors, now is the time to fund the company for its next stage of growth. We appreciate the strategic vision, intellectual contributions and capital from our new and existing investors, and we look forward to their continued support as we begin clinical trials of our next-generation cell therapy programs for patients with many different types of cancer.”

This round of funding is intended to support two clinical trial programs of NKX101 — Nkarta’s allogenic NK cell therapy targeting NKG2D — in patients with either hematologic malignancies or solid tumors as well as IND-enabling studies and clinical trials of its CAR-NK program targeting CD19 in B-cell malignancies.

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And Nkarta is also developing additional product candidates based upon its broad NK cell engineering platform. In 2020, the company is expecting to complete a GMP manufacturing facility in South San Francisco to supply investigational product for its early-stage clinical trials.

“Nkarta has assembled a compelling platform for engineering NK cells. The company’s allogeneic and off-the-shelf cell therapies have the potential to be the next frontier in cancer cell therapy,” added Dr. Dybbs. “We are delighted to partner with Nkarta’s accomplished management team and founding investors, who have proven success in oncology drug development and advanced cellular therapies.”

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