News & Press Releases

Kleo Pharmaceuticals Enters into Research Collaboration with Green Cross LabCell (GCLC) To Rapidly Develop COVID-19-Targeting Allogeneic NK Cell Combination Therapy

Kleo’s First Non-Oncology Application of Its Antibody Recruiting Molecule (ARM™) to Be Tested in Combination with GCLC’s NK Cells as a Potential COVID-19 Therapeutic


New Haven, CT, March 31, 2020 – Kleo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading company in the field of developing next-generation, fully synthetic bispecific compounds designed to emulate or enhance the activity of biologics, announced today that it has entered into a research collaboration with South Korea -based Green Cross LabCell (GCLC), a pioneer in the next generation of allogeneic, or “off-the-shelf” natural killer (NK) cell therapies, to rapidly advance testing of both advanced technology platforms in combination as a potential therapy for COVID-19 patients.

Earlier this year, Kleo received approval from the US FDA to proceed with an antibody recruiting molecule (ARM) NK cell combination therapy clinical trial for the treatment of newly diagnosed, multiple myeloma patients. The ARM in that trial targets the cell surface protein CD38 and uses autologous cytokine induced memory like (CIML) NK cells to kill tumor cells.

“Being able to rapidly develop novel COVID-19 therapies highlights core attributes of Kleo’s platform technology ‒ namely speed and modularity,” said Doug Manion, MD, CEO of Kleo Pharmaceuticals. “As a physician trained in infectious disease, I was on the forefront of the HIV infection epidemic in the 1980s. We bear a responsibility to advance our anti-COVID-19 program as rapidly as possible to determine its utility in the fight. To that end, we are honored to collaborate with GCLC, whose allogeneic NK cells are already in late-stage clinical development in immuno-oncology and projected to advance into the clinic for COVID-19 in the second half of this year.”

Kleo’s ARM technology platform can rapidly develop fully synthetic bifunctional molecules that redirect a patient’s own antibodies for therapeutic effect. In the context of a COVID-19 therapeutic, the ARM has multiple proposed mechanisms of action. First, the ARM acts as a neutralizing antibody to block direct binding on the virus to human cells. Second, the ARM enlists immune effector cells to eliminate viral particles and/or infected cells. Third, the ARM can produce a long-term vaccination effect by activating and expanding immune memory cells.

About Kleo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Kleo Pharmaceuticals is a unique immuno-oncology company developing next-generation bispecific compounds designed to emulate or enhance the activity of biologics based on the groundbreaking research of its scientific founder Dr. David Spiegel at Yale University.  Similar to complex biologic drugs, Kleo’s compounds recruit the immune system to destroy cancer cells, with the advantage of being smaller and more versatile, leading to potentially improved safety and efficacy over biologics. They are also much faster and more efficient to design and produce, particularly against novel targets. Kleo is advancing several drug candidates based on its proprietary technology platforms, all of which are modular in design and enable rapid generation of novel immunotherapies that can be optimized against certain cancers, or enhance the properties of existing immunotherapies. These include Antibody Recruiting Molecules (ARMs), Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Enhancers (MATEs), and Synthetic Antibody Mimics (SyAMs). Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company (NYSE:BHVN) and PeptiDream Inc. (Nikkei:PPTDF) are investors in Kleo Pharmaceuticals.  For more information visit

About Green Cross LabCell:

Green Cross LabCell (GCLC) is a cell therapy-specialized company focusing on NK cell and stem cell therapeutics. GCLC is a subsidiary of Green Cross Holdings, Inc, whose subsidiaries are engaged in human vaccines, antibody therapeutics, CTL-based adoptive immunotherapy and clinical laboratory business. GCLC was founded in June 2011 as a spin-off from Green Cross Labs and has licensed NK cell-based immunotherapy platform from Mogam Biotechnology Institute.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties, including statements that are based on the current expectations and assumptions of the Company’s management. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding the Company’s plans and objectives, expectations and assumptions of management are forward-looking statements. The use of certain words, including the words “estimate,” “project,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “will,” “plan,” “could,” “may” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are made as of this date and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc.

Maureen McEnroe, CFA (Investors)



Ingrid Mezo (Media)



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