Press Releases

Catamaran Bio Announces Preclinical Data from Allogeneic CAR-NK Cell Therapy Pipeline for Solid Tumors to be Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2023

Two allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies demonstrate significant efficacy in tumor xenograft models

Data underscore potential of TAILWIND® platform to create effective CAR-NK treatments for solid tumors

BOSTON, Mass. – April 11, 2023 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced new data demonstrating preclinical pharmacology and in vivo efficacy from the Company’s two CAR-NK cell therapies in solid tumors have been selected for poster presentations during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting taking place April 14-19, 2023, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

“The data we’ll share at AACR demonstrate the strength of our TAILWIND® platform to design and manufacture highly effective, unique and differentiated CAR-NK products,” said Vipin Suri, PhD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer of Catamaran Bio. “We can efficiently manufacture multi-functional CAR-NK products which have demonstrated significant efficacy in solid tumor xenograft models. These advances are part of our continuing progress toward the clinic and lay the foundation for our first in-human studies in solid tumors to begin in 2024.”

Both posters will be presented on Monday, April 17, 2023, from 1:30-5:00 p.m. ET during the PO.IM01.02 – Natural Killer and Natural Killer T Cell-based Cellular Therapies poster session. Details of the presentations are as follows:

CAT-248, an allogeneic CD70-directed CAR-NK cell therapy effectively controls CD70-positive tumor xenografts

Highlights from the presentation supporting Catamaran’s lead program, CAT-248, include:

  • Demonstration that CAT-248 significantly reduces growth of 786-O renal cell carcinoma xenografts in both intraperitoneal and subcutaneous in vivo models
  • Use of a novel, single-step engineering solution for simultaneous, non-viral delivery of a CAR, TGFb dominant-negative receptor (DNR), and secreted IL-15 in combination with CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of CD70 in primary human peripheral blood NK cells to prevent fratricide
  • Evidence that the incorporation of a TGFb DNR provides protection from TGFb-mediated immunosuppression
  • The use of secreted IL-15 leads to enhanced NK cell persistence

These data establish CAT-248 as a highly differentiated CAR-NK cell therapy with the potential to provide durable responses in renal cell carcinoma and other CD70-expressing cancers.

CAT-179, an allogeneic NK cell product expressing HER2-CAR, IL-15 and TGFβ dominant negative receptor, durably regresses HER2-expressing xenograft tumors in mice

Highlights of data from Catamaran’s second CAR-NK cell therapy construct engineered using its TAILWIND®platform include:

  • Demonstration that a single dose of TAILWIND®-engineered CAR-NK cells induces durable regression in multiple HER2 xenograft models
  • Functional persistence is conferred by the components engineered into the cell (TGFβ DNR and secreted IL-15) via the TAILWIND® process
  • Engineered NK cells effectively infiltrate tumor tissue
  • Novel PK/PD analysis demonstrating a direct linkage between NK cell numbers, IL-15 levels and efficacy

These results demonstrate the ability of CAT-179 to infiltrate and regress tumors in multiple in vivo models, and support further development of CAT-179 for the treatment of HER2+ solid tumors.

Both posters will be available on the Catamaran Bio website upon commencement of the meeting.

About Catamaran Bio

Catamaran Bio is developing novel, off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor-natural killer (CAR-NK) cell therapies designed to treat a broad range of cancers, including solid tumors. Our proprietary capabilities enable us to harness the natural cancer-fighting properties of NK cells and enhance and tailor their effectiveness with the power of synthetic biology and innovative non-viral cell engineering. We are using our TAILWIND® platform, an integrated suite of technologies, to specifically address the end-to-end methods of engineering, processing and manufacturing NK cells and rapidly advance our pipeline of CAR-NK cell therapy programs. Our team combines experienced biopharmaceutical leadership with founding scientists who are pioneers in NK cell biology, engineering, manufacturing and clinical application. Catamaran is backed by leading financial and corporate investors, including SV Health Investors, Sofinnova Partners, Lightstone Ventures, Takeda Ventures, Astellas Venture Management and the UMN Discovery Capital investment program. For more information, please visit and follow us on LinkedIn and @CatamaranBio on Twitter.

Catamaran Contact:
Michael DeRidder, PhD, SVP Corporate Strategy

Media Contact:
Gina Cestari
6 Degrees