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Exploring the Network of Cellular Interactions of NK Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment

In this webinar, Dr. Lowdell discussed the latest data from INmune Bio, Inc and the discovery of a new mechanism of action of its NK-priming immunotherapy, “INKmune”. INKmune™ is a clinical stage proprietary tumor cell line which is administered intravenously and primes NK cells to kill otherwise resistant tumors. INKmune™-primed NK cells have been shown to kill a wide variety of solid and hematological cancer cells in preclinical studies.

Use of the latest state-of-the-art cell-cell analysis technology that measures cell avidity has demonstrated that INKmune™ increases NK cell killing of tumor cells by strengthening the binding of the NK to the tumor cell. Our preclinical studies show that the robust immune synapse created by INKmune™ priming is greater than that induced by conventional cytokine activation (IL-2 or IL-15) and allows more rapid NK-mediated killing which was confirmed by videomicrography. These INKmune™-primed NK cells are not only more efficient killers of tumor cells but are able to overcome inhibition by regulatory cells and hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment.

It has become evident that beyond conventional assays, which include cytokine secretion and in vitro cell killing, cellular avidity, i.e.overall effector cell-tumor cell binding strength, provides key information that can predict in vivo efficacy. LUMICKS’ z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer is a one-in-a-kind instrument that allows the measurements of hundreds of effector-tumor cell pairs for their interaction strength. As part of this webinar, z-Movi’s potential for cell immunotherapy development was explained and the workflow introduced.

Expert Speakers Included

Key Learning Objectives

Describe NK cell : tumor cell : NK cell interactions and the definition of “NK resistance”

Potentiation of impaired NK function in the TME to overcome hypoxia-induced suppression

Quantifying the cell avidity with acoustic force gives a direct and predictive parameter for characterizing optimal NK and CAR-T function

Review regulatory T cells and regulatory NK cells in the TME

The strength of binding between an effector cell (NK/CAR/TCR) and cognate ligand(s), through quality and quantity of signaling, can dictate downstream cell function

About Lumicks

LUMICKS creates instruments for dynamic single-molecule and cell avidity analysis. Our latest instrument, the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer, enables the measurement and selection of immune cells based on their interactions with cancer cells, providing a new parameter for experimentally evaluating immune cell functionality and activation.

Recent studies have revealed that the overall binding strength (or avidity) between T cells and tumour cells represents a crucial parameter for identifying and developing potent cancer immunotherapies. Cell avidity is driven by a multitude of factors, including receptor density, affinity the engagement of co-receptors and, if used, T-cell engagers. Whether exploring NK or CAR-T function, cellular avidity is providing new insights into downstream events and therapeutic effectiveness. Compared with affinity, cell avidity provides a more complete and physiologically relevant picture that reflects the live interaction between T cells and tumour cells.

One of the main obstacles in measuring avidity is the lack of fast, specific, and accurate technologies. The z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer is a novel and unique instrument for direct measurement of cell–cell interaction strength using acoustic forces. This new technology provides predictive, reproducible and fast high-throughput results at a single-cell level.