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NKT Therapeutics Presents Data on Potential Antibody Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease
Date:12/6/2012

WALTHAM, Mass., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NKT Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, announced preclinical study results supporting the potential of its lead therapeutic candidate, NKTT120, as an innovative approach to the treatment of sickle cell disease. Preclinical studies of NKTT120, a humanized monoclonal antibody, showed its ability to generate a safe, rapid, specific and complete depletion of invariant Natural Killer T cells (iNKT cells) 24 hours post dosing, thus  offering a means to reduce the chronic inflammation associated with sickle cell disease pathology. NKT Therapeutics plans to initiate a clinical trial of NKTT120 in patients with stable sickle cell disease in the first quarter of 2013.

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The study will be presented on December 9 at the American Society of Hematology meeting in Atlanta as a poster presentation entitled, "The Safety Evaluation of NKTT120, an iNKT Cell Depleting Antibody in the Cynomolgus Monkey." An abstract of the study has been published online at https://ash.confex.com/ash/2012/webprogram/Paper50259.html

NKTT120 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that results in a safe, rapid, specific and complete depletion of iNKT cells. The presented research showed that a specific and complete depletion of iNKT cells was observed at the earliest post dosing measurement at 24 hours, and was maintained throughout the 85 day study. Investigators observed no adverse events, infections, or cytokine release.  T cell-dependent antibody response to KLH antigen was not affected by NKTT120 treatment. 

Chronic inflammation is associated with the pathology of sickle cell disease, and studies by NKT Therapeutics and others have found an increased ratio of activated iNKT cells in the
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