oNKo-innate Experts Present Posters on Target Discovery and Cytokine Therapy at International Conferences

As the leading Australian immuno-oncology company, we’re passionate about sharing our bold approach to cancer therapy with the broader scientific community. Recently, two of oNKo-innate’s leading scientists showcased our discovery platform and one of our most advanced pipeline assets on the international stage.

In September, oNKo’s Chief Technology officer, Iva Nikolic, attended the Discovery on Target conference in Boston. Iva’s poster presentation detailed our integrated, CRISPR-based framework for large-scale screening and target discovery in human and mouse primary immune cells, highlighting our recent work in natural killer (NK) cells.

Iva’s functional genomics and target discovery team at oNKo have used this platform to perform enrichment screens in primary human NK cells, identifying novel IL-15 axis regulators that contribute to survival and persistence. Phenotypic screens similarly revealed regulators of NK cell cytotoxicity and interferon gamma (IFNγ) production.

By validating these targets in CAR-NK cells and in vivo in chimeric mice, Iva’s team have demonstrated that they are able to regulate various aspects of NK and CAR-NK cell function. Deletion of the oNKo-036 and oNKo-037 targets enhanced IL-15 signaling, boosted NK cell metabolism and proliferation, and supported anti-metastatic function.

For the full poster content click here or on the image below.

Schematic outline of oNKo-Innate NK cell screening platform
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Our Vice President of Biotherapeutics, Richard Berry, attended the PEGS Europe: Protein and Antibody Engineering Summit in November, presenting a poster on our most advanced pipeline asset, oNKo-001. The poster detailed the key issues preventing clinical use of IL-12, how our oNKo-001 therapy addresses these challenges, and its promising results in in vivo models.

oNKo-001 is a reduced-potency IL-12 fused to the Fc region of a silent human IgG1 antibody. Rich’s protein engineering and biotherapeutics team have engineered the p35 region of the IL-12heterodimer to reduce this powerful cytokine’s binding affinity for its cognate receptor. The therapy displayed favourable in vivo characteristics in an adoptive transfer model as well as in a syngeneic tumor model.

With reduced potency, oNKo-001 has superior pharmacokinetics, with robust antitumor activity, and reduced toxicity associated with the activation of circulating immune cells. It has a significantly increased therapeutic index compared to wild type IL-12, increasing the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines within tumors relative to the periphery.

For the full poster content click here or on the image below.

Click through for the full poster

To explore these posters in full, check out the posters and publications section of our Learning Centre.

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