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Two biotechs team up to bring CRISPR to ‘natural killer’ cell therapy

Two biotechs aim to broaden the reach of cancer immunotherapy by applying gene editing tools to an emerging form of cell therapy through a wide-ranging collaboration.

The agreement, between CRISPR Therapeutics and Nkarta, includes three components. The biotechs will first co-develop two therapies that use natural killer cells, the body’s front-line defenders and Nkarta’s focus, to go after tumors. CRISPR will also lend its gene editing technology to Nkarta to soup up a group of its own cell therapy products. Third, and perhaps most ambitiously, the biotechs aim to make a complex and unusual treatment that would harness both NK cells and the T cells CRISPR has been using in its own treatments.

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