MiNK Therapeutics’ AgenT-797 Shows Promising Results in the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Distress


MiNK Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced the publication of results in Nature Communications from a Phase 1/2 study of agenT-797 in patients with moderate-to-severe acute respiratory distress (ARDS) secondary to SARS-CoV-2. These findings show that agenT-797 holds significant promise in improving patient survival and reducing secondary infections, all while maintaining a favorable safety profile.

ARDS is a life-threatening, rapidly progressive form of respiratory failure, associated with approximately 40% mortality. MiNK’s phase 1/2 study was designed to investigate a single dose of allogeneic iNKT cells, agenT-797, in patients with moderate to severe ARDS, including those on mechanical ventilation and mechanical lung support (VV-ECMO).

“Allogeneic iNKT cells represent a novel approach for treating severe respiratory distress and these data underscore the important role that iNKT-based cell therapies could play in respiratory distress and critical illness more broadly,” said Dr. Terese Hammond, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, and principal investigator for the trial. “The results from this study support the notion that allogeneic, unmodified cell therapies can be administered to critically ill patients and may augment both innate and cell mediated immune responses, specifically viral pneumonia associated with COVID-19, and warrant further investigation.”

Results Highlights

  • In a cohort of 21 patients with mechanical ventilation, survival rates exceeded 70%, with a remarkable 80% survival rate among those (5) on VV ECMO. These data stand in stark contrast compared to 10% survival rate in the in-hospital control group at the same time.
  • agenT-797 was shown to induce anti-inflammatory biomarkers and prevent secondary bacterial and fungal infections, including a more than 80% reduction in pneumonia in the highest dose cohort.

Marc van Dijk, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at MiNK, emphasized the significance of these findings, noting “These published results emphasize the distinctive qualities of iNKT cells and their pivotal role in modulating immunity. What is particularly exciting are the observations of disease modifying properties of iNKTs in immune related diseases such as ARDS and cancer, all in the context of a tolerable safety profile not observed with other cell therapy approaches. AgenT-797 offers a versatile approach to treating various illnesses and MiNK has developed the manufacturing platform to deliver this therapy at scale for patients facing life-threatening diseases. The company plans to further advance agenT-797 in patients with viral ARDS through an externally funded, large platform trial.”

The publication is available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-024-44905-z.

MiNK Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery, development, and commercialization of allogeneic invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell therapies to treat cancer and other immune-mediated diseases. MiNK is advancing a pipeline of both native and next generation engineered iNKT programs, with a platform designed to facilitate scalable and reproducible manufacturing for off-the-shelf delivery. The company is headquartered in New York, NY. For more information, visit https://minktherapeutics.com.