oNKo-innate leverages a 20-year academic background in fundamental NK cell biology and cutting-edge in-house screening platforms to define and drug the dominant molecular interaction between NK cells and cancer cells. NK cells have evolved numerous germline-encoded receptors to self-ligands on cancer cells and these interactions are central to immune surveillance. Soluble ligands from the tumor microenvironment also impact on NK cell reactivity to cancer. Alterations in NK cell receptor signaling in the context of cancer ultimately governs the ability of an NK cell to be activated and kill the cancer cell.
Using primary NK cells and NK cell-sensitive cancer cells as screening tools, our R & D initiatives have uncovered major molecular ‘handles’ by which NK cells specifically detect cancers and accessory “switches” that govern the magnitude to which NK cells will respond to cancers, forming the core of our drug development pipeline. oNKo-innate is also highly regarded for expertise in genetic manipulation of primary human NK cells and genome-wide screening using NK cells and cancer cells, technology that continues to grow our pipeline.