US-based biotechnology company HebeCell is joining forces with Japanese synthetic biology firm Logomix for the development of the next-generation genomically engineered PSC-NK cells.

HebeCell is engaged in developing ProtoNK cell therapeutics based on its proprietary 3D pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-NK manufacture platform.

On the other hand, Logomix has built a platform technology for engineering complex genomic messages of ~Mb-scale into human cells. Leveraging its proprietary genome engineering tool Geno-Writing, Logomix has created various iPS cell lines that serve as universal donor cells, which are open for potential licensing.

The partnership will create next-generation designer NK cells by focusing on researching and developing gene-edited NK cells and discovering genetic modifications.

Logomix CEO Taiki Ishikura said: “Logomix’s proprietary technology, Geno-Writing is a genome-writing platform that grants cell therapy developers unprecedented freedom to screen, design and write-in large-scale genomic alterations in human cells.

“Because our technology allows Mb-scale and scarless modifications, applied to any sequences at either or both alleles, it is an ideal tool to create source of allogeneic cell therapy with desired gene edits.”

As part of the arrangement, the two companies establish a collaboration, with Logomix initially offering genome editing capabilities to aid HebeCell in crafting the next generation of designer protoNK cells.

The combination of Logomix’s PSC-based platform with genome editing expertise is expected to substantially expand and expedite the creation of novel enhancements through genetic modifications. These will enhance the endurance and effectiveness of protoNK cells in combatting cancer, said the parties.

HebeCell CEO John Lu said: “We know our protoNK cells are strong cytotoxic cells. Our goal is to make PSC-derived protoNK more efficacious in vivo. This collaboration with Logomix will give us a very powerful toolbox to achieve that goal.

“This collaboration expands our efforts to develop unique NK cell therapies, and has the potential to create something new and never seen before in the NK therapeutic field.”