Affimed Announces Publication of Preclinical Data Demonstrating Cytotoxic Potency and Efficacy of NK Cells Precomplexed with Innate Cell Engagers after Freezing & Thawing

2/9/2022, 10:05 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)
  • Precomplexing NK cells with Innate Cell Engagers (ICE® molecules) results in a CAR-like NK cell product, whose magnitude and specificity of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) remain unaffected after one freeze-thaw cycle
  • Activity after cryopreservation is an important prerequisite for the development of off-the-shelf NK cell therapeutics and CD16A-specific ICE® molecules that are precomplexed with NK cells show promise for further development

HEIDELBERG, Germany, Feb. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Affimed N.V. (Nasdaq: AFMD), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company committed to giving patients back their innate ability to fight cancer, today announced the publication of pre-clinical data demonstrating the cytotoxic potency and efficacy of NK cells precomplexed with ICE® molecules after one cycle of cryopreservation. This is an important prerequisite for the development of off-the-shelf products which may allow accessibility to the novel treatment option for patients in need.

The data show experimental results of NK cells precomplexed with three bispecific, tetravalent ICE® molecules targeting the validated tumor target EpCAM and one of the NK cell-activating receptors CD16A, NKG2D or NKp46. NK cells precomplexed to the EpCAM/CD16A ICE® molecule demonstrated superior cytotoxicity against EpCAM-positive tumor cells in comparison to complexes with EpCAM/NKG2D and EpCAM/NKp46 ICE® formats. This effect may potentially be driven by a stronger NK cell activation through CD16A as compared to NKG2D or NKp46. After one cycle of cryopreservation, this effect continued - notably, NK cells precomplexed with all three ICE® constructs retained their cytotoxicity after freezing and thawing.

“The finding that NK cells precomplexed with the EpCAM/CD16A ICE® molecule show superior cytotoxic activity that remained unaffected after freezing and thawing, when compared to combinations with ICE® molecules targeting NKG2D or NKp46 after similar freezing and thawing is exciting. This finding holds promise for the future development of off-the-shelf precomplexed ICE® molecules targeting NK cells through CD16A,” said Arndt Schottelius, Chief Scientific Officer of Affimed.

“The high cytotoxicity of NK cells precomplexed with ICE® molecules after cryopreservation is important in the context of the exciting data that were generated in an ongoing investigator initiated phase 1-2 study of cord blood derived NK cells precomplexed with AFM13 in patients with CD30-positive lymphomas, where, at the highest dose level, a 100% objective response rate was seen,” added Andreas Harstrick, Chief Medical Officer of Affimed.

The manuscript has been published in a special issue on Antibodies for Effector Cell Redirection in the journal Antibodies and is available here:

About Affimed N.V.

Affimed (Nasdaq: AFMD) is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company committed to give patients back their innate ability to fight cancer by actualizing the untapped potential of the innate immune system. The company’s proprietary ROCK® platform enables a tumor-targeted approach to recognize and kill a range of hematologic and solid tumors, enabling a broad pipeline of wholly-owned and partnered single agent and combination therapy programs. The ROCK® platform predictably generates customized innate cell engager (ICE®) molecules, which use patients’ immune cells to destroy tumor cells. This innovative approach enabled Affimed to become the first company with a clinical-stage ICE®. Headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, with offices in New York, NY, Affimed is led by an experienced team of biotechnology and pharmaceutical leaders united by a bold vision to stop cancer from ever derailing patients’ lives. For more about the company’s people, pipeline and partners, please visit:

Forward-Looking Statements

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