NantWorks Announces Launch of an Immuno-Oncology Company, NantCell, and Licensing Agreement with Amgen for an Oncology Antibody

LOS ANGELES--NantCell, LLC, a subsidiary of NantWorks, LLC, focusing on the discovery and development of immunology based innovative treatments for diseases through cell-based treatments at the molecular level, today announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Amgen Inc. for AMG 479 (ganitumab), previously in Phase 3 development. Under the agreement, NantCell acquired the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize worldwide, excluding Japan, AMG 479, a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets Type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R), a promising target for cancer therapy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Amgen," said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder and chief executive officer of NantCell. "We acquired an immuno-oncology compound in late-stage development, with the potential to address a number of cancers affecting significant patient populations. This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the FDA approval of Abraxane, the first protein-based chemotherapy delivery vehicle now approved in multiple countries worldwide for breast, lung and pancreatic cancer. It is our belief that the future of cancer care will involve combination therapy with low dose, metronomic use of multiple chemotherapeutic agents, but combined also with immuno-oncology molecules, or with engineered killer cells targeted at the proteomic profile of the specific tumor, regardless of the anatomical type. The development of antibody molecules such as IGF-1R will require next generation sequencing at the proteomic level with a deep level of molecular interrogation to establish the appropriate combination with other drugs."

Patients entering clinical trials conducted by NantCell would be identified after a comprehensive "omic" analysis from DNA, RNA and protein, and treated on the resulting molecular profile to maximize clinical outcome and minimize side effects.

"We are pleased to collaborate with NantCell and NantWorks in their mission to establish a new level of quantitative predictability of patient selection," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "Their integrated suite of technologies may help to improve patient selection and further clinical development of AMG 479."

Scientific and medical research suggest that IGF-1R plays a role in the development and progression of many cancers, possibly due to its anti-apoptotic properties, which allow cancerous cells to resist the cytotoxic properties of chemotherapeutic drugs or radiation therapy. The novel IGF-1R antibody inhibits cancer cell proliferation through disruption of the P13K/Akt and MAPK pathways. Signaling through IGF-1R plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth and survival, and has been shown to be a critical promoter of anchorage independent growth, a well-recognized mechanism for malignancy.

About NantCell

NantCell, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NantWorks, LLC, is an immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery of innovative antibody, T cell and NK cell based treatments by developing molecularly targeted therapeutics, based on the proteomic profile of the patient's tumor, independent of the cancer's anatomical type. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the creator of Abraxane® and the founder of the nab® technology platform established NantCell to develop a pipeline of human antibodies and inhibitors of proteins which drive tumor growth and pursue Chimeric Receptor Antigen platforms in both T and NK cells. NantCell's mission is to make obsolete the standard method of clinical trial design of "trial and error" and replace it with a level of quantitative predictability based on both the genomic and proteomic profile performed a priori. The Company will tap into comprehensive "omic" analytic tools and "big data" generated from supercomputing to develop molecularly designed drugs in this era of genomics and proteomics and identify patients and their tumor signature at the most granular cellular, DNA and protein levels. Patients entering clinical trials would be identified after a comprehensive "omic" analysis from tissue to cell to DNA to RNA to protein to peptide to drug, and tested based on this molecular profile to maximize clinical outcome and minimize side effects. For more information please visit and follow Dr. Soon-Shiong on Twitter @solvehealthcare.

About NantWorks

NantWorks, LLC, founded by renowned physician scientist and inventor of the first human nanoparticle chemotherapeutic agent Abraxane®, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is the umbrella organization for the following entities: NantHealth, NantMobile, NantMedia, NantOmics, NantBioScience, NantCell, NantPharma, NantCapital and NantCloud. Fact-based and solution-driven, each of NantWorks' division entities operates at the nexus of innovation and infrastructure.

The core mission of NantWorks is convergence: to develop and deliver a diverse range of technologies that accelerates innovation, broaden the scope of scientific discovery, enhance groundbreaking research, and improve healthcare treatment for those in need. NantWorks is building an integrated fact-based, genomically-informed, personalized approach to the delivery of care and the development of next generation diagnostics and therapeutics.


Jen Hodson, 562-397-3639
[email protected]