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Nektar Therapeutics Announces Several Preclinical Data Presentations for its Immuno-oncology Pipeline Candidates at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) today announced several preclinical data presentations for its immuno-oncology pipeline candidates, bempegaldesleukin* (NKTR-214), a CD122-preferential IL-2 pathway agonist, and NKTR-255, an IL-15 receptor agonist, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019, which is being held from March 29 to April 3, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  

"We're looking forward to sharing preclinical data demonstrating the promise of our lead immunotherapy candidates, bempegaldesleukin and NKTR-255, in a variety of liquid and solid tumor models, including lymphoma, colon carcinoma and osteosarcoma," said Jonathan Zalevsky, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Nektar. "Collectively, these data suggest that bempegaldesleukin and NKTR-255 may work synergistically with other therapies to activate or amplify the body's immune response to tumor cells, and we believe these combination approaches have the potential to improve immunotherapy treatment outcomes."

Details on the Poster Presentations:

Abstract #2256/Poster Board #15 (bempegaldesleukin)
Title: "Combination of neoantigen DNA plasmid vaccine VB10.NEO and NKTR-214, a CD122-biased immunostimulatory cytokine, induces strong neoantigen-specific T cell responses and sustained tumor regression in pre-clinical models", Granum, S., et al.
Session: Clinical Research - Combination Immunotherapies 1
Date: Monday, April 1, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Exhibit Hall B, Poster Section 19

Abstract #3265/Poster Board #15 (NKTR-255)
Title: "NKTR-255, a polymer-conjugated IL-15 enhances anti-tumor NK cell responses and synergizes with monoclonal antibodies to provide long-term survival in human lymphoma model", Miyazaki, T., et al.
Session: Immunology - Novel Immunomodulatory Agents 1
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 8:00 – 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Exhibit Hall B, Poster Section 25

Abstract #3210/Poster Board #20 (bempegaldesleukin)
Title: "A potential immunotherapeutic approach for the treatment of osteosarcoma", Wahba, A., et al.
Session: Immunology – Combination Immunotherapies 2
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Exhibit Hall B, Poster Section 23

About Bempegaldesleukin (NKTR-214)
Bempegaldesleukin is an investigational, first-in-class, CD122-preferential IL-2 pathway agonist designed to provide rapid activation and proliferation of cancer-killing immune cells, known as CD8+ effector T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, without over activating the immune system. Bempegaldesleukin stimulates these cancer-killing immune cells in the body by targeting CD122 specific receptors found on the surface of these immune cells. CD122, which is also known as the Interleukin-2 receptor beta subunit, is a key signaling receptor that is known to increase proliferation of these effector T cells.1 In clinical and preclinical studies, treatment with bempegaldesleukin resulted in expansion of these cells and mobilization into the tumor micro-environment.2,3 Bempegaldesleukin has an antibody-like dosing regimen similar to the existing checkpoint inhibitor class of approved medicines.

About NKTR-255
NKTR-255 is an IL-15 receptor agonist designed to engage the IL-15 pathway to stimulate and expand natural killer (NK) cells and promote the survival and expansion of central memory CD8+ T cells without inducing suppressive regulatory T cells. Through optimal engagement of the IL-15Rα/IL-2Rγ receptor complex, NKTR-255 enhances formation of long-term immunological memory which may lead to sustained anti-tumor immune response. Native rhIL-15 is rapidly cleared from the body and must be administered frequently and in high doses limiting its utility due to toxicity. NKTR-255 is designed with IL-15 receptor alpha specificity to optimize biological activity and is uniquely engineered to provide optimal exposure and an improved safety profile.

About Nektar
Nektar Therapeutics is a research-based, development stage biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover and develop innovative medicines to address the unmet medical needs of patients. Our R&D pipeline of new investigational medicines includes treatments for cancer, auto-immune disease and chronic pain. We leverage Nektar's proprietary and proven chemistry platform in the discovery and design of our new therapeutic candidates. Nektar is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional operations in Huntsville, Alabama and Hyderabad, India. Further information about the company and its drug development programs and capabilities may be found online at

* rINN (recommended International Nonproprietary Name)

1 Boyman, J., et al., Nature Reviews Immunology, 2012, 12, 180-190.
2 Charych, D., et al., Clin Can Res; 22(3) February 1, 2016.
3 Diab, A., et al., Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2016, 4(Suppl 1): P369.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements which can be identified by words such as: "will," "may," "promise," "believe" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding the therapeutic potential of our drug candidates, including bempegaldesleukin and NKTR-255, the future development plans bempegaldesleukin and NKTR-255, and the availability of results and outcomes from our clinical and preclinical studies. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on our current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of our business, future plans and strategies, anticipated events and trends, and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of our control. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include, among others: (i) our statements regarding the therapeutic potential of bempegaldesleukin and NKTR-255, as well as combination regimens that include one or more of our drug candidates, are based on preclinical and clinical findings and observations to date from ongoing studies and future data generated from ongoing or new studies may be materially different; (ii) bempegaldesleukin and NKTR-255 are in early stage clinical development and the risk of failure remains high and failure can unexpectedly occur at any stage for one or more of the cancer indications being studied prior to regulatory approval due to lack of sufficient efficacy, safety considerations or other factors that negatively impact drug development; (iii) scientific discovery of new medical breakthroughs is an inherently uncertain process and the future regulatory approval of potential new drug candidates (such as bempegaldesleukin and NKTR-255) is therefore very uncertain and unpredictable; (iv) patents may not issue from our patent applications for our drug candidates, patents that have issued may not be enforceable, or additional intellectual property licenses from third parties may be required; and (v) certain other important risks and uncertainties set forth in Nektar's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 8, 2018. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.


For Investors:
Jennifer Ruddock of Nektar Therapeutics
Ashleigh Barreto of Nektar Therapeutics

For Media:
Jodi Sievers of Nektar Therapeutics
Dan Budwick of 1AB


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Last Updated: 27-Feb-2019