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Natural Killer Cell Immunotherapy for Cancer

NK Cells

NK cells are lymphoid white blood cells:

  • Part of the body's innate immune system

  • Characterised by expression of CD16 and CD57

  • Recognise infected and cancerous cells through downregulation of MHC-I

  • Kill directly through multiple mechanisms

  • Also play a role in adaptive immunity

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  • NK cells express Killer Ig-like cell receptors (KIR) on their surface

  • Most KIR recognise self-proteins presented on MHC-I and inhibit NK cell killing (A)

  • We have characterised a separate class of activating KIR which are the focus of our therapeutic approach (B)

NK cell

Our Technology

  • KIR2DS2 is a novel, patented activating NK cell receptor associated with better cancer outcomes

  • We have identified an activating ligand for KIR2DS2

  • We have developed an injectable DNA plasmid, KG001, that leads to expression of the  ligand

  • We have demonstrated efficacy in mouse models  including HCC, our fist target indication

  • By contrast with other approaches, KG001 leads to long-lived NK cells, is cheap and easy to administer

  • KG001 has significant potential for use with adjuvants and in combination, e.g. with, anti-PD1, anti-CD20, CAR-T

  • We have a pipeline through the identification of further activating KIR and characterisation of their activating ligands




About Kargenera

Kargenera was founded to commercialise technology developed at the University of Southampton.  The technology platform has benefited from over £2m of grant funding from bodies such as MRC, CRUK and the British Liver Trust..

The company has assembled a team of experienced academics, lifescience executives and scientific advisors, led by the founder, Prof Salim Khakoo.

Prof. Salim Khakoo, Founder and CSO

Professor of Hepatology & Director of Biomedical Research at the University of Southampton.  With a twenty year track record of academic research into NK cell biology, Salim is a true expert in the field.


Our technology has attracted significant ongoing research grants from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK)


Our technology has been published in high impact journals

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Science Immunology

Immune Response Genetics

Journal for Immunotherapy in Cancer

Journal of Immunology


Contact us

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