In this video from Motley Fool Live recorded on Dec. 14, Bureau Chief of Healthcare and Cannabis Corinne Cardina and contributor Brian Orelli discussed the boost in Fate Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:FATE) stock price after the biotech presented data on its natural killer (NK) cell therapy.

The company didn't have much data at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting. With the investment community focused on blood cancer drugs, Fate took the opportunity to release data for FT516, one of its NK-based treatments, before the conference.

Corinne Cardina: So another company at ASH that got some headlines was Fate Therapeutics. They presented on its natural killer (NK) cell therapeutics. What can you tell us about this NK technology, its place in the hematology sector, and what should investors know?

Brian Orelli: This is a new version of the CAR T. It's the same basic idea. NK cells are cells that can kill cancer cells, so we want to train them to get close to the cancer cell, and then they'll recognize it as foreign and kill it. There's probably some advantages over CAR T, although we're still early in the NK game, so it's not completely clear, but in theory, it should have better safety. So it may not trigger the cytokine release syndrome where the immune system becomes overactive. The CAR Ts had some neurotoxicity and that may not be the case for NK cells. You get to avoid the graft versus host disease. That's where the immune cells that you put into the patient, if they're from a different patient, if they're off-the-shelf and from a different patient, they'll recognize the patient's other cells as foreign and so the immune system, instead of just attacking the cancer cell, will start attacking any of the cells. The NK cells have multiple mechanisms of action that result in tumor killing. So there's more than one signaling molecule, it goes to the NK cells from the cancer cell that tells the NK cells to kill cancer cells, and then finally, I think there's probably easier off-the-shelf manufacturing of the NK cells versus T-cells.

Cardina: What did they do at ASH?

Orelli: There wasn't that much data from ASH. There was just a single patient treated with the drug, there is FT596, the patient had a partial response, but they did release some data the Friday before ASH, so that helped boost their stock price on Monday. That drug is FT516, At dose levels 2 and 3, in combination with Rituxan. So take that with a grain of salt of how much Rituxan is helping versus the drug. They had two complete responses in four patients and then one of the other patients had a partial response. Three out of four responded, that's pretty decent overall response.

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