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Natural killer (NK) cells, or killer (K) cells, represent an important subset of cellular mediators of the innate immune system. These cells are known to be instrumental in containing viral infections and regulating tumor development, while the adaptive immune system generates an antigen-specific response. Technically, they are classified as group I innate lymphocytes. Although they share a common progenitor, NK cells are very different from B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes, and do not require specific antigen-based activation in order to function. The cytotoxic effects of these cells are mediated using perforin and granzymes, which is somewhat similar to the mode of action of cytotoxic T cells. Additionally, studies have demonstrated that NK cells can also secrete certain cytokines and chemokines, such as IFNγ and TNFα, through which they can recruit other immune components to augment and sustain an immune response. For instance, IFNγ secreted by NK cells has been shown to be involved in T-helper (TH1) cell based immune response, and the activation of certain antigen-presenting cells and macrophages. Alternatively, NK cells have been shown to respond to certain types of interferons and macrophage-derived cytokines.
Several studies have demonstrated the various benefits of NK cells as a therapeutic tool. Currently, these cells are being evaluated across multiple clinical trials to treat various types of cancer and infectious diseases. Further, the genetic modification of NK cells has demonstrated additional benefits, and many companies are also working on developing allogenic product candidates that can be used as off-the-shelf therapies.
The “Natural Killer Cell Therapies: Pipeline Review” report features an extensive study of the current market landscape and clinical research scenario related to all NK cell-based products / product candidates. The information in this report has been presented in the form of interactive dashboards, aiming to provide a comprehensive overview of the ongoing activity in this domain, and offering insights on a number of important parameters, including:
All information has been sourced and analyzed from company websites, press releases, reliable clinical trial data repositories (such as clinicaltrials.gov), and other publicly available information platforms.