NKTX Nkarta Inc.

31.76
-0.86  -3%
Previous Close 32.62
Open 32.22
52 Week Low 22.4602
52 Week High 76.5026
Market Cap $1,042,444,188
Shares 32,822,550
Float 23,831,158
Enterprise Value $755,606,188
Volume 125,238
Av. Daily Volume 273,555
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Upcoming Catalysts

Drug Stage Catalyst Date
NKX101
Acute myeloid leukemia / myelodysplastic syndromes
Phase 1
Phase 1
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Drug Pipeline

Drug Stage Notes
NKX019
B-cell malignancies
Phase 1
Phase 1
Phase 1 trial to commence 2H 2021.

Latest News

    • 88,000 square foot facility in South San Francisco will support scaled manufacturing of Nkarta's engineered NK cell therapy candidates, and be home to company headquarters
    • Planned production expansion builds upon Nkarta's foundational manufacturing, operational and process development expertise
    • All operations remain closely integrated in South San Francisco, the international hub of biotechnology innovation, with its substantial talent pool and industry resources

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that it has signed a lease agreement for a facility to support research and…

    • 88,000 square foot facility in South San Francisco will support scaled manufacturing of Nkarta's engineered NK cell therapy candidates, and be home to company headquarters
    • Planned production expansion builds upon Nkarta's foundational manufacturing, operational and process development expertise
    • All operations remain closely integrated in South San Francisco, the international hub of biotechnology innovation, with its substantial talent pool and industry resources

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that it has signed a lease agreement for a facility to support research and development and future commercial manufacturing of Nkarta's cell therapy pipeline. The new facility will also serve as the company's headquarters with office space and research facilities. The manufacturing center will be custom designed to complement Nkarta's state-of-the-art technology platform and optimize the production of its multiple off-the-shelf NK cell therapy investigational products. Nkarta plans to produce materials for potential pivotal clinical trials and commercial launch at the new center.

    "Our goal is to ensure that cost-effective, commercial-scale production of cell therapies can be made available widely and rapidly to the cancer patients who need them, and we expect this new facility will enable us to do just that," said Paul J. Hastings, President and CEO of Nkarta. "As we advance our NKX101 and NKX019 clinical programs and enhance our proprietary platform with exciting new capabilities like CRISPR Cas9 genome engineering, we believe our expanded footprint will drive continued operational excellence and accelerate the development of transformative NK cell therapies for a broad range of cancers."

    Earlier this year, Nkarta completed the construction and qualification of a 2,700 square foot cGMP facility at its primary location in South San Francisco, California. This current clinical manufacturing facility was designed to integrate with Nkarta's internal process development expertise and meet the production needs of Nkarta's research activities and early stage clinical trials. Nkarta is currently manufacturing clinical supply for its planned Phase 1 study of NKX019, expected to start in the second half of 2021, and plans to transfer the production of NKX101 and other proprietary platform materials to the clinical manufacturing facility in the future.

    The newly leased facility in South San Francisco will be built-out as a multi-product facility and is expected to be operational by the end of 2023. At full capacity, the manufacturing center is expected to have the flexibility to produce commercial supply of multiple cell therapy products. Nkarta will also consolidate administrative offices and research and development laboratories at the new site.

    About NKX101

    NKX101 is an investigational, off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapy that uses natural killer (NK) cells derived from the peripheral blood of healthy donors and engineered with membrane-bound IL15 and a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting NKG2D ligands on tumor cells. NKG2D, a key activating receptor found on naturally occurring NK cells, induces a cell-killing immune response through the detection of stress ligands that are widely expressed on cancer cells. By engineering NKX101 with the proprietary NKG2D-based CAR, the ability of NK cells to recognize and kill tumor cells in pre-clinical models is increased significantly compared to non-engineered NK cells. The addition of membrane-bound IL15, a proprietary version of a cytokine for activating NK cell growth, has been shown in pre-clinical models to enhance the proliferation, persistence and sustained activity of NK cells. A multi-center Phase 1 clinical trial of NKX101 in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is currently enrolling. Additional information about the clinical trial is available on ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier NCT04623944.

    About NKX019

    NKX019 is an investigational, off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapy that uses natural killer (NK) cells derived from the peripheral blood of healthy donors and engineered with a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and a proprietary, membrane-bound form of interleukin 15 (IL-15). CD19 is a biomarker for normal and malignant B cells, and it is a validated target for B cell cancer therapies. Via its CAR, NKX019 targets and binds to CD19 and eliminates CD19-expressing cells via a robust immune response in preclinical studies. Preclinical models also demonstrate enhanced proliferation, persistence and activity of NK cells with the membrane-bound IL-15, an important cytokine for NK cell survival. Initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial of NKX019 in patients with relapsed/refractory B cell malignancies in multiple centers in the United States and Australia is planned for the second half of 2021.

    About Nkarta's Platform and Natural Starting Materials

    Nkarta's engineering platform utilizes healthy adult donors as the source for NK cells. By enlisting this natural source of NK cells, Nkarta starts with bona fide NK cells endowed with inherent tumor-recognizing ability and potent cytotoxic function. Healthy donor-derived NK cells are also available in abundance, providing a large quantity of cells with which to begin the efficient two-week manufacturing process. Finally, healthy donor-derived adult cells consist of a diverse repertoire of NK cells, providing Nkarta with the potential to capitalize on the inherent diversity of the innate immune system in selecting donors or NK cell populations with optimal characteristics.

    About Nkarta's NK Cell Technologies

    Nkarta has pioneered a novel discovery and development platform for the engineering and efficient production of allogeneic, off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapy candidates. The approach harnesses the innate ability of NK cells to recognize and kill tumor cells. To enhance the inherent biological activity of NK cells, Nkarta genetically engineers the cells with a targeting receptor designed to recognize and bind to specific proteins on the surface of cancerous cells. This receptor is fused to co-stimulatory and signaling domains to amplify cell signaling and NK cell cytotoxicity. Upon binding the target, NK cells become activated and release cytokines that enhance the immune response and cytotoxic granules that lead to killing of the target cell. All of Nkarta's NK current cell therapy candidates are also engineered with a membrane-bound IL15, a proprietary version of a cytokine known for activating NK cell growth, to enhance the persistence and activity of the NK cells.

    Nkarta's manufacturing process generates an abundant supply of NK cells that, at commercial scale, is expected to be significantly lower in cost than other current allogeneic and autologous cell therapies. Key to this efficiency is the rapid expansion of donor-derived NK cells using a proprietary NKSTIM cell line, leading to the production of hundreds of individual doses from a single manufacturing run. The platform also features the ability to freeze and store CAR NK cells for an extended period of time and is designed to enable immediate, off-the-shelf administration to patients at the point of care.

    About Nkarta

    Nkarta is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer patients. By combining its cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies, Nkarta is building a pipeline of cell therapy candidates generated by efficient manufacturing processes, which are engineered to enhance tumor targeting and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.nkartatx.com.

    Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

    Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "plans," "potential," "projects," "would" and "future" or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of these forward-looking statements include statements concerning: Nkarta's expectations regarding the future benefits and impact of the new facility; Nkarta's plans for the use of the facility; the efficiency and cost of Nkarta's manufacturing processes and operations, including for commercial-scale manufacturing; the capacity of the future manufacturing facility and the timeline for it to be operational; the expected timing of the NKX019 trial initiation; Nkarta's ability to manufacture clinical supply of NKX019 in house and transfer production of NKX101 in house; Nkarta's ability to capitalize on the inherent diversity of the innate immune system; the ability of Nkarta's technology to enhance the proliferation, persistence and anti-tumor activity of NK cells and enable off-the-shelf, point-of-care administration; the number of doses generated from a manufacturing run; and the proprietary nature of Nkarta's technology. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: Nkarta's limited operating history and historical losses; Nkarta's ability to raise additional funding to complete the development and any commercialization of its product candidates; Nkarta's dependence on the success of its co-lead product candidates, NKX101 and NKX019; that Nkarta may be delayed in initiating, enrolling or completing any clinical trials; competition from third parties that are developing products for similar uses; Nkarta's ability to obtain, maintain and protect its intellectual property; Nkarta's dependence on third parties in connection with manufacturing, clinical trials and pre-clinical studies; the complexity of the manufacturing process for CAR NK cell therapies; and risks relating to the impact on our business of the COVID-19 pandemic or similar public health crises.

    These and other risks are described more fully in Nkarta's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the "Risk Factors" section of Nkarta's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on May 13, 2021, and our other documents subsequently filed with or furnished to the SEC. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Except to the extent required by law, Nkarta undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

    Nkarta Media/Investor Contact:

    Greg Mann

    Nkarta, Inc.



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  1. SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced its participation at this upcoming investor conference:

    Raymond James Human Health Innovation Conference
    June 21, 2021
    3:20 p.m. ET - fireside chat presentation

    The live webcast of the presentation will be available on the Investors section of Nkarta's website, www.nkartatx.com. A replay of the webcast will be archived on the website for approximately four weeks.

    About Nkarta
    Nkarta is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off the shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer. By combining…

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced its participation at this upcoming investor conference:

    Raymond James Human Health Innovation Conference

    June 21, 2021

    3:20 p.m. ET - fireside chat presentation

    The live webcast of the presentation will be available on the Investors section of Nkarta's website, www.nkartatx.com. A replay of the webcast will be archived on the website for approximately four weeks.

    About Nkarta

    Nkarta is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off the shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer. By combining its cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies, Nkarta is building a pipeline of cell therapy candidates generated by efficient manufacturing processes, which are engineered to enhance tumor targeting and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body. For more information, please visit www.nkartatx.com.

    Nkarta Media/Investor Contact:

    Greg Mann

    Nkarta, Inc.

     



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  2. SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Paul Hastings has been elected as the Chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 term.

    "Paul is a true biotech pioneer with an incredible journey first as a patient, then as a patient advocate, a biotech innovator, CEO, a BIO committee organizer and now as the new Chair of BIO's Board of Directors," said Ali Behbahani, MD, co-founder and Chair of Nkarta's Board of Directors. "We applaud Paul's election. We have witnessed firsthand the power of Paul's vision…

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Paul Hastings has been elected as the Chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 term.

    "Paul is a true biotech pioneer with an incredible journey first as a patient, then as a patient advocate, a biotech innovator, CEO, a BIO committee organizer and now as the new Chair of BIO's Board of Directors," said Ali Behbahani, MD, co-founder and Chair of Nkarta's Board of Directors. "We applaud Paul's election. We have witnessed firsthand the power of Paul's vision at Nkarta and look forward to seeing him help support the broader biotech industry as it continues to foster innovation and equity for patients."

    BIO is the world's largest advocacy organization representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. Paul Hastings has spent a long career in biotech and brings a wealth of experience both as a leader and as an advocate. He will serve as BIO chair through June 2022, when he will be eligible for re-election for another one-year term.

    "I look forward to working closely with Paul as our new Board Chair," said BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath. "Paul has been an active and highly engaged leader of BIO for more than two decades. His steadfast commitment to innovation, collaboration, education and patient advocacy will be critical to the continued success and future of our industry."

    About Nkarta

    Nkarta is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer patients. By combining its cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies, Nkarta is building a pipeline of cell therapy candidates generated by efficient manufacturing processes, which are engineered to enhance tumor targeting and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.Nkartatx.com.

    Nkarta Media/Investor Contact:

    Greg Mann

    Nkarta, Inc.



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  3. SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced its participation at this upcoming investor conference:

    Jefferies Virtual Healthcare Conference
    June 2, 2021
    Fireside chat presentation: 3:30 p.m. ET

    The live webcast of the presentation will be available on the Investors section of Nkarta's website, www.nkartatx.com. A replay of the webcast will be archived on the website for approximately four weeks.

    About Nkarta
    Nkarta is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off the shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer. By combining its cell…

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced its participation at this upcoming investor conference:

    Jefferies Virtual Healthcare Conference

    June 2, 2021

    Fireside chat presentation: 3:30 p.m. ET

    The live webcast of the presentation will be available on the Investors section of Nkarta's website, www.nkartatx.com. A replay of the webcast will be archived on the website for approximately four weeks.

    About Nkarta

    Nkarta is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off the shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer. By combining its cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies, Nkarta is building a pipeline of cell therapy candidates generated by efficient manufacturing processes, which are engineered to enhance tumor targeting and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body. For more information, please visit www.nkartatx.com.

    Nkarta Media/Investor Contact:

    Greg Mann

    Nkarta, Inc.

     



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    • NKX019 IND received FDA clearance; NKX019 patient dosing expected to start in 2H 2021
    • Protocol amendment to ongoing NKX101 clinical trial adds a second multi-dosing regimen and a shorter waiting period between enrollment of patients
    • Initial data from NKX101 clinical trial expected by end of 2021
    • CRISPR Therapeutics collaboration supports early stage cell therapy pipeline with up to three joint programs and enables Nkarta to build gene edits into its own product pipeline
    • Cash and cash equivalents of $299.7 million as of March 31, 2021

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today reported financial…

    • NKX019 IND received FDA clearance; NKX019 patient dosing expected to start in 2H 2021
    • Protocol amendment to ongoing NKX101 clinical trial adds a second multi-dosing regimen and a shorter waiting period between enrollment of patients
    • Initial data from NKX101 clinical trial expected by end of 2021
    • CRISPR Therapeutics collaboration supports early stage cell therapy pipeline with up to three joint programs and enables Nkarta to build gene edits into its own product pipeline
    • Cash and cash equivalents of $299.7 million as of March 31, 2021

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.

    "As Nkarta prepares NKX019, our second co-lead CAR NK program, to enter clinical trials later this year, we look forward to the evolution of broad proof of concept for our healthy donor derived engineered CAR NK product candidates as mono and combination therapies across multiple targets and indications," said Paul J. Hastings, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nkarta. "We expect to report initial clinical data from NKX101, our first co-lead program, by the end of 2021, with additional data announcements from both programs in 2022."

    Hastings continued, "As previously announced, we're excited and proud to be working with CRISPR Therapeutics to enhance the potential of our NK cell therapy platform using their best in class genome engineering technology and expertise in allogeneic CAR T cell therapy. This collaboration brings together the complementary strengths of two leaders in cell therapy with the aim of accelerating our research and development efforts to advance important cell therapies that can be made broadly accessible to cancer patients."

    RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND FUTURE MILESTONES

    NKX019

    • In April 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration cleared the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for NKX019, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) NK cell therapy candidate engineered to target tumors expressing CD19, for the treatment of relapsed/refractory B cell malignancies. Nkarta expects patient dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial of NKX019 to initiate in the second half of 2021.     

    NKX101

    • In April 2021, the FDA approved a protocol amendment to the clinical trial of NKX101 for patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The amendment includes an overall shorter waiting period between enrollment of patients, an additional two-dose regimen to increase patient convenience and to deliver more CAR NK cells earlier in each treatment cycle, and the earlier introduction of non haplo-related, off-the-shelf NKX101 in the ongoing dose finding cohort.

       
    • Nkarta aims to present initial clinical data from its ongoing clinical trial of NKX101 by year end 2021. In the Phase 1 study, patients receive multiple doses of NKX101 during a 28-day treatment cycle and are eligible to receive subsequent cycles of treatment upon evidence of tolerability and disease response.       

    Pipeline and Platform

    • In May 2021, Nkarta and CRISPR Therapeutics announced a research and development collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize two chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) NK cell product candidates, one targeting CD70, and a product candidate combining NK and T cells (NK+T), each enhanced with genome engineering. The collaboration also gives Nkarta a license to CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology for use in its own engineered NK cell therapy products.

    Manufacturing

    • Nkarta expects to manufacture NKX019 clinical supply for the Phase 1 clinical trial at its in-house cGMP clinical manufacturing facility located in South San Francisco, California.

       
    • Nkarta has started early planning for a commercial-scale cell therapy manufacturing facility in the United States.

    FIRST QUARTER 2021 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

    • Cash and Cash Equivalents: As of March 31, 2021, Nkarta had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments of $299.7 million.

       
    • R&D Expenses: Research and development expenses were $13.5 million for the first quarter of 2021. Non-cash stock-based compensation expense included in R&D expense was $1.6 million for the first quarter of 2021.

       
    • G&A Expenses: General and administrative expenses were $5.9 million for the first quarter of 2021. Non-cash stock-based compensation expense included in G&A expense was $1.8 million for the first quarter of 2021.

       
    • Net Loss. Net loss was $19.4 million, or $0.59 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of 2021.

    FINANCIAL GUIDANCE

    • Nkarta expects its current cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund its current operating plan into at least the second half of 2023.

    About NKX101

    NKX101 is an investigational, off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapy that uses natural killer (NK) cells derived from the peripheral blood of healthy donors and engineered with membrane-bound IL15 and a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting NKG2D ligands on tumor cells. NKG2D, a key activating receptor found on naturally occurring NK cells, induces a cell-killing immune response through the detection of stress ligands that are widely expressed on cancer cells. By engineering NKX101 with the proprietary NKG2D-based CAR, the ability of NK cells to recognize and kill tumor cells in pre-clinical models is increased significantly compared to non-engineered NK cells. The addition of membrane-bound IL15, a proprietary version of a cytokine for activating NK cell growth, has been shown in pre-clinical models to enhance the proliferation, persistence and sustained activity of NK cells. A multi-center Phase 1 clinical trial of NKX101 in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is currently enrolling. Additional information about the clinical trial is available on ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier NCT04623944.

    About NKX019

    NKX019 is an investigational, off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapy that uses natural killer (NK) cells derived from the peripheral blood of healthy donors and engineered with a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and a proprietary, membrane-bound form of interleukin 15 (IL-15). CD19 is a biomarker for normal and malignant B cells, and it is a validated target for B cell cancer therapies. Via its CAR, NKX019 targets and binds to CD19 and eliminates CD19-expressing cells via a robust immune response in preclinical studies. Preclinical models also demonstrate enhanced proliferation, persistence and activity of NK cells with the membrane-bound IL-15, an important cytokine for NK cell survival. Initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial of NKX019 in patients with relapsed/refractory B cell malignancies in multiple centers in the United States and Australia is planned for the second half of 2021.

    About Nkarta's Platform and Natural Starting Materials

    Nkarta's engineering platform utilizes healthy adult donors as the source for NK cells. By enlisting this natural source of NK cells, Nkarta starts with bona fide NK cells endowed with inherent tumor-recognizing ability and potent cytotoxic function. Healthy donor-derived NK cells are also available in abundance, providing a large quantity of cells with which to begin the efficient two-week manufacturing process. Finally, healthy donor-derived adult cells consist of a diverse repertoire of NK cells, providing Nkarta with the potential to capitalize on the inherent diversity of the innate immune system in selecting donors or NK cell populations with optimal characteristics.

    About Nkarta's NK Cell Technologies

    Nkarta has pioneered a novel discovery and development platform for the engineering and efficient production of allogeneic, off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapy candidates. The approach harnesses the innate ability of NK cells to recognize and kill tumor cells. To enhance the inherent biological activity of NK cells, Nkarta genetically engineers the cells with a targeting receptor designed to recognize and bind to specific proteins on the surface of cancerous cells. This receptor is fused to co-stimulatory and signaling domains to amplify cell signaling and NK cell cytotoxicity. Upon binding the target, NK cells become activated and release cytokines that enhance the immune response and cytotoxic granules that lead to killing of the target cell. All of Nkarta's NK current cell therapy candidates are also engineered with a membrane-bound IL15, a proprietary version of a cytokine known for activating NK cell growth, to enhance the persistence and activity of the NK cells.

    Nkarta's manufacturing process generates an abundant supply of NK cells that, at commercial scale, is expected to be significantly lower in cost than other current allogeneic and autologous cell therapies. Key to this efficiency is the rapid expansion of donor-derived NK cells using a proprietary NKSTIM cell line, leading to the production of hundreds of individual doses from a single manufacturing run. The platform also features the ability to freeze and store CAR NK cells for an extended period of time and is designed to enable immediate, off-the-shelf administration to patients at the point of care.

    About Nkarta

    Nkarta is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer patients. By combining its cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies, Nkarta is building a pipeline of cell therapy candidates generated by efficient manufacturing processes, which are engineered to enhance tumor targeting and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.nkartatx.com.

    Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

    Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "plans," "potential," "projects," "would" and "future" or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of these forward-looking statements include statements concerning: Nkarta's expectations regarding proof of concept of its CAR NK product candidates; the timing of the NKX019 trial initiation and patient dosing on its clinical trials; Nkarta's plans regarding the reporting of clinical data; the expected benefits of Nkarta's collaboration with CRISPR; Nkarta's ability to capitalize on the inherent diversity of the innate immune system; the ability of Nkarta's technology to enhance the proliferation, persistence and anti-tumor activity of NK cells and enable off-the-shelf, point-of-care administration; the efficiency and cost of Nkarta's manufacturing processes; the number of doses generated from a manufacturing run; Nkarta's ability to manufacture clinical supply of NKX019 in house; the proprietary nature of Nkarta's technology; and Nkarta's expected cash runway. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: Nkarta's limited operating history and historical losses; Nkarta's ability to raise additional funding to complete the development and any commercialization of its product candidates; Nkarta's dependence on the success of its co-lead product candidates, NKX101 and NKX019; that Nkarta may be delayed in initiating, enrolling or completing any clinical trials; competition from third parties that are developing products for similar uses; Nkarta's ability to obtain, maintain and protect its intellectual property; Nkarta's dependence on third parties in connection with manufacturing, clinical trials and pre-clinical studies; the complexity of the manufacturing process for CAR NK cell therapies; and risks relating to the impact on our business of the COVID-19 pandemic or similar public health crises.

    These and other risks are described more fully in Nkarta's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the "Risk Factors" section of Nkarta's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on March 25, 2021, and our other documents subsequently filed with or furnished to the SEC. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Except to the extent required by law, Nkarta undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.



    Nkarta, Inc.

    Condensed Statements of Operations

    (in thousands, except share and per share data)

    (Unaudited)

      Three Months Ended March 31,
       2021   2020 
    Operating expenses    
    Research and development $13,539  $7,260 
    General and administrative  5,942   2,148 
    Total operating expenses  19,481   9,408 
    Loss from operations  (19,481)  (9,408)
    Other income (expense), net:    
    Change in fair value of preferred stock purchase right liability     578 
    Interest income  110   124 
    Other income (expense), net  (2)   
    Total other income (expense), net  108   702 
    Net loss $(19,373) $(8,706)
         
    Net loss per share, basic and diluted $(0.59) $(5.41)
    Weighted average shares used to compute net loss per share, basic and diluted  32,739,610   1,609,184 



    Nkarta, Inc.


    Condensed Balance Sheets

    (in thousands)

    (Unaudited)

      March 31,

    2021
     December 31,

    2020
    Assets     
    Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments $            299,676 $           315,326
    Property and equipment, net      10,498                   9,350
    Operating lease right-of-use assets                 11,873  8,505
    Other assets                  3,645                    4,469
    Total assets $            325,692 $            337,650
    Liabilities and stockholders' equity     
    Accounts payable, accrued and other liabilities $                7,277 $                7,511
    Operating lease liabilities                12,425                    8,919
    Total liabilities              19,702                  16,430
    Stockholders' equity                305,990               321,220
    Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $            325,692 $            337,650



    Nkarta Media/Investor Contact:


    Greg Mann

    Nkarta, Inc.

     



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