A Novel Approach for Expansion of NK and CAR-modified NK Cells

Fold expansion of NK cells from cord blood expanded with irradiated K562-mIL21 and RU-Feeder Cells

Invention Summary:

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell immunotherapy (CAR-T cell therapy) requires engineering of T cells harvested from the patient. Natural killer (NK) cells are also cytotoxic immune cells, but work somewhat differently from T cell. Engineered NK cells (CAR-NK) can also be used to kill cancer cells. Compared with T-cell, NK based immunotherapy has less toxic side effects. However, it is hard to generate large quantities of expanded NK cells ex vivo since primary NK can only survive 18-21 days ex vivo. Generating allogeneic and universal NK cells can significantly broaden their application and reduce costs.

This invention disclosed a new feeder cell line for NK cell expansion. This feeder cell line (named as RU-Feeder cells) can be used to expand NK and CAR-modified NK cells from both peripheral and cord blood, as well as from tumor tissues. In contrast to K562 cell line (the currently available feeder cell line reported in 2012, in Phase I/II clinical trial by MD Anderson), the propagating capability of current cell line increased by at least 22 folds for Cord blood NK cells (38.8+/-6.6, n=7). The expanded NK and CAR-NK cells show superior anti-tumor activities in vivo, compared with cells expanded with the currently available feeder cells. This new cell line will provide the immunotherapy field with a powerful tool to expand the primary NK and CAR-modified NK cells for clinical application.


- The propagating capability increased by at least 10 folds, compared with the K562-mIL21 cell line.

- CAR-NK cells show superior anti-tumor activities in vivo.

Market Applications

- New feeder cell line for NK cell expansion.

- Can be used to generate "off-the-shelf" CAR-modified cell products


Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaboration

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Tania Das Banerjee
Assistant Licensing Manager
Rutgers University
Cell Lines