Artiva Biotherapeutics Announces FDA Clearance of IND for AlloNK® Cell Therapy Candidate in Combination with Rituximab in Lupus Nephritis

  • This marks the first IND clearance for an allogeneic, off-the-shelf NK or CAR-T cell therapy candidate in autoimmune disease
  • Artiva also announced the formation of an advisory board to provide expertise in advancing innovative cell therapies for lupus and other autoimmune diseases

SAN DIEGO, August 16, 2023 — Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage company whose mission is to deliver highly effective, off-the-shelf, allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell-based therapies, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the company’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application for AlloNK® (also known as AB-101), in combination with rituximab for treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in patients with active lupus nephritis (LN). AlloNK is a non-genetically modified, cord blood-derived, allogeneic, cryopreserved NK cell therapy candidate designed to enhance antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). This IND clearance marks the first for an allogeneic, off-the-shelf NK or CAR-T cell therapy in autoimmune disease.

AlloNK is currently being investigated in two cancer clinical trials in combination with antibody or NK-engager biologics. Artiva presented data at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting demonstrating the therapeutic potential and favorable safety profile of AlloNK in combination with rituximab in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL).

“Seminal clinical data has been generated using autologous CAR-T cells suggesting that a deeper B cell depletion can induce complete and long-lasting responses in patients with lupus nephritis. However, the use of autologous CAR-T cells requires apheresis, likely hospitalization, and the potential for serious side effects,” said Fred Aslan, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Artiva. “AlloNK given in combination with rituximab, an anti-CD20 antibody that targets B-cells, is already driving complete responses in late line B-NHL patients in an ongoing Phase 1 study by enhancing the activity of rituximab. Our hypothesis is that AlloNK plus rituximab also has the potential to drive deep B-cell depletion in LN patients with an off-the-shelf therapy that could be administered and managed in an outpatient setting.”