Nkarta Therapeutics Raises $114 Million in Series B Financing to Advance Multiple Programs into Clinical Trials
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – September 4, 2019 – Nkarta Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to fight cancer, today announced that it has closed an oversubscribed $114 million Series B financing, led by new investor Samsara BioCapital. 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, Novo Holdings A/S, and SR One. In conjunction with the financing, Mike Dybbs, Ph.D., partner at Samsara, and Fouad Azzam, Ph.D., general partner at LSP, have joined the company's board of directors.
This financing 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. Nkarta is also developing additional product candidates based upon its broad NK cell engineering platform. Finally, in 2020, the company expects to complete a GMP manufacturing facility in South San Francisco to supply investigational product for its early-stage clinical trials.
"Since the company’s founding, we have worked to bring our potentially transformative, engineered and off-the-shelf NK cell therapies to patients," said Paul Hastings, president and chief executive officer, Nkarta Therapeutics. "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."
"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," said 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."
Nkarta Therapeutics was founded on the proprietary, robust and well characterized Natural Killer (NK) cell expansion technology pioneered by Dr. Dario Campana. The company is focused on leveraging the natural potent power of NK cells to identify and kill abnormal cells and recruit adaptive immune effectors to generate responses that are specific and durable. Nkarta is combining its NK expansion platform technology with proprietary cell engineering technologies to generate an abundant supply of NK cells, engineer enhanced NK cell recognition of tumor targets, and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body for the treatment of cancer. Nkarta’s goal is to develop off-the-shelf NK cell therapy product candidates to improve outcomes for patients. Founded in 2015, the company’s investors include Amgen Ventures, Deerfield Management, LSP, Logos Capital, NEA, Novo Holdings A/S, RA Capital Management, Samsara BioCapital and SR One. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.nkartatx.com.