Typically, the stock market slows down towards the end of summer, but this year that has not been the case. Big pharma is weighing in on clinical stage companies as smaller biotechnology companies are benefiting. Moves by the FDA have brought even more attention to the industry.
The recent collaboration between Affimed (AFMD) and Roche (RHHBY)/Genentech showed the market that tens of millions of dollars, $96M upfront along with $5B in milestone/royalty payments to be exact, are starting to flow into a new concept in the biotech sector.
The NK cell hypothesis has not only become validated by this new development but more specifically of the NK cell – engager concept. Itself. Prior to this, companies like Juno, which was purchased by Celgene (CELG) as well as Novartis (NVS), Gilead (GILD), Iovance (IOVA) and Amgen (AMGN) have been applauded for their use of T-cell therapies. This has, in true form opened up the next step for further advancements focused on immunotherapies.
The NK cell field, much like the T-cell field did some years ago, is beginning to see rapid advances. This is from both the science and the clinical development directions. Though the NK concept is still young, Affimed isn’t the only company focused on developing this further.