Navigation Links
Biotech company cofounded by BIDMC scientists targets natural killer T-cells
Date:3/19/2009

BOSTON -- NKT Therapeutics, Inc., a Newton-based biotechnology company cofounded by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) researchers Steven Balk, MD, PhD, and Mark Exley, PhD, has announced that it has closed an $8M Series A venture financing co-led by venture capital firms SV Life Sciences (SVLS) and MedImmune Ventures.

The company will work to develop therapies based on natural killer T-cells, with their first program focusing on treatments for asthma.

"Doctors Balk and Exley [together with the company's third cofounder Brian Wilson, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital] have extensive expertise in the applications of immunotherapeutic agents to human disease," explains Mark Chalek, Chief of Business Ventures at BIDMC. "Their research has helped to establish the important role of NKT cells in the regulation of many immune responses."

Although NKT cells represent approximately .01 percent of the body's total lymphocyte population, they serve as a central regulator of the immune system, playing a critical role in health and disease, according to Balk, a member of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at BIDMC. "By regulating the innate arm of the immune system, NKT cells help to destroy threatening pathogens and cancers," he explains. "And by regulating the immune system's adaptive arm, they help to modulate antibody and cell-mediated immunity, which offers sustained protection over time."

Balk and Exley have been studying natural killer T cells since 1996. They were the first investigators to identify the NKT human subset, functionally define these immune cells, and demonstrate that they had defects in cancer patients. The scientists were also the first team to describe the cells' anti-viral roles and to characterize related populations of cells in liver and bone marrow, as well as to demonstrate their roles in various disease states.

"NKT cells are a very potent source for good in some types of immune response, but in other instances can cause problems," adds Exley, who is also a member of BIDMC's Division of Hematology/Oncology. "By selectively activating or depleting NKT function we plan to develop drugs that can target a wide range of diseases, from asthma and autoimmune disorders to cancers and infectious diseases. Asthma is one of the conditions in which NKT cells create an adverse immune response. Therefore, by downregulating NKT activity, we hope to create successful asthma treatments."

"I am very excited to lead the development of this very promising technology whose broad potential for addressing major health care needs is underscored by this successful financing," adds Robert Mashal, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of NKT Therapeutics.

NKT Therapeutics has licensed an extensive intellectual property portfolio from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Stan Mah of BIDMC's Technology Ventures Office (TVO) had the lead role in organizing licensing on behalf of all parties.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pulmo BioTech Inc. Announces Appointment of Professor John Wallwork as Chairman
2. EXT Life Sciences Announces New Biotech Treatment that Tackles Root Cause of Graying Hair
3. BullMarket.com Updates Outlook on Biotech Stocks
4. Therapure Biopharma Inc. and LFB Biotechnologies Announce Development Services Contract for New Therapeutic Protein
5. Cephalon Launches Takeover Offer for Australian Biotechnology Company, Arana Therapeutics
6. Investor Group Commends Jim Merselis for Joining Trinity Biotechs Board of Directors & Announces Conference Call Invitation
7. BioTech Medical LLC Launches Leading Edge Powered by SDC Disinfectant Products
8. Champions Biotechnology, Inc.s Doug Burkett, PhD, to Present at BIO CEO & Investor Conference
9. New Jersey-Based Biotech Start-Up Nexomics Biosciences Gets Off the Ground
10. InNexus Biotechnology Completes Preclinical Study Confirming in Vivo Effectiveness and Safety of Lead Candidate DXL625, Schedules Meeting With FDA
11. Celator(R) Pharmaceuticals To Present at Biotech Showcase 2009
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... physicians, announced today the launch of a free, public-facing tool for analyzing the ... (VCA) was developed to provide comparative information to patients, providers, insurers and pharmaceutical ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management ... begun to serve as its new executive director. Mr. Still was selected through a ... , “Bob, as he is known to our members, has been a part ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... With less than 10,000 dermatologists in the United States and ... limited while the desire to conquer breakouts and eliminate skincare stress is widespread. ... online, today released its inaugural survey on the State of Acne in America. ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... A minimally invasive porcelain veneer is ... National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) is informing dentists about the benefits of ... utilizing dental laboratories and technicians that create these veneers. , According to ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... With expansion and efficiency ... in early March. , The seed processing plant opened in Marshallville in 2006, and ... The new office allows opportunity for transition of Patten Seed operations to the Middle ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... TAIPEI, Taiwan , March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... medical device company, is pleased to announce ... Series A investment of Panther Orthopedics, Inc., a ... pioneering innovative dynamic fixation solutions for orthopedic extremity ... market continues to expand rapidly, primarily due to ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... -- The National University of Singapore (NUS) and ... signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently to ... region. Under this MOU, the ... (BIGHEART) at NUS and Holmusk will establish a ... IT and medical device development. These include personal ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... LONDON , March 27, 2017 ... require to better understand Eli Lilly and its partnering interests ... Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the ... companies. On demand company reports are prepared upon ... deal and company data. The report will be ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: