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:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Virginia Beach resident Sean Kelly ... turned towards the water to find peace and set out to accomplish a personal ... and turned to the internet. He came across the story of another special operations ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The annual Blue Ribbon Highlights Session took ... and Movement Disorders. This special session provides a critical review of the best ... of both clinical and basic research presented by delegates. , Of the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The U.S. Supreme Court decision on immigration has significant consequences ... Senior Citizens League (TSCL) . “President Obama’s executive actions on immigration would have ... worked in this country illegally, even though the newly - issued green cards are ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... For the second time this year, ... Medical Education program, this time in pediatrics. The news from the Accreditation Council ... training that will begin in July 2017. ACGME had previously accredited Memorial’s Physical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research Triangle Park, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Alzheimer’s disease, is announcing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted ... T3D-959 in a limited number of subjects who completed the main Phase 2a study ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Bracket , a leading ... next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, ... June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Guerbet announced today that it has been ... Award . One of 12 suppliers to ... its support of Premier members through exceptional local customer ... commitment to lower costs. ... our outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  The National Pharmaceutical Council ... the health policy research organization as its newest ... MD, senior vice president and chief scientific officer, ... on the NPC Board of Directors. ... Mallinckrodt has joined us in support of our ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: