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Kuur Therapeutics Reports Initial Activity of CAR NK-Cell Therapy in Neuroblastoma

NEW YORK – Kuur Therapeutics reported interim data on Thursday on its autologous GD2-targeting CAR NK-cell therapy, KUR-501, from a Phase I trial involving relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma patients.

In the GINAKIT2 study, out of 10 evaluable patients, one had a complete response, one t had a partial response, and three had experienced stable disease. Notably, the patient whose neuroblastoma tumors completely disappeared experienced partial tumor shrinkage after the first dose of KUR-501 at the 1x108 cells/m2 dose, and then had a complete response after a second dose at the same level. However, according to the company, tumor biopsies show that the autologous CAR NK cells are reaching tumor sites at all dose levels.

In terms of safety, one patient had grade 2 cytokine release syndrome after KUR-501 infusion, but there haven't been any cases of neurotoxicity yet. Kuur Chief Medical Officer Kurt Gunter said in a statement that the study validates the biology and clinical activity of the company's CAR NK cells, and that Phase I trials will continue to recruit patients based on the activity seen so far. 

KUR-501 is designed to target GD2, which is expressed on nearly all neuroblastoma cells. Compared to other CAR cell therapies, the treatment is also designed to be more persistent in immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments by secreting cytokine IL-15. Houston-based Kuur is also exploring the activity of KUR-501 in other solid and hematologic cancers and is developing KUR-502, an allogeneic CD19 CAR NK-cell therapy in relapsed or refractory CD19-positive malignancies.