RNS Number : 4114S
Roquefort Therapeutics PLC
06 November 2023

6 November 2023


Roquefort Therapeutics plc

("Roquefort Therapeutics" or the "Company")

Significant Mesodermal Killer Cell Milestone


Roquefort Therapeutics (LSE:ROQ, OTCQB:ROQAF), the Main Market listed biotech company focused on developing first in class medicines in the high value and high growth oncology market, announces that the Mesodermal killer ("MK") cell program has reached a significant milestone.


As announced in September 2022, the Company's MK cells are a proprietary and novel class of cellular medicine. While MK cells kill cancer cells directly, their more profound effect is the activation of natural killer ("NK") cells. As previously announced, this direct killing of cancer cells and activation of NK cells to increase cytotoxicity have each been demonstrated in validated in vivo models of lymphoma and myeloma.


In the new results announced today, MK cells were tested in combination with NK cells and showed: (1) the activation of NK cells; and (2) that this activation produced up to a two-fold increase in cytotoxicity over NK cells alone in three different difficult to treat cancers, which was statistically significant*:

·    Ovarian cancer                                            (P < 0.01) 

·    Acute myeloid leukemia                             (P < 0.05)              

·    Multiple myeloma                                       (P < 0.01)


This demonstration of the activation of NK cells in multiple cancer types including solid tumours, lymphomas and leukaemia is a significant commercial milestone because the NK cell activation is a highly attractive modality for large pharmaceutical companies. The recent transactions in this niche market include the $1.4B partnership between Sanofi and Innate Pharma[1] and >$300M Gilead and Dragonfly Therapeutics transaction[2] for Innate and Dragonfly's proprietary activators of NK cells.


The Company's MK cells will now progress into further in vivo studies in validated models of NK cell activation and cancer cytotoxicity.


Roquefort Therapeutics CEO Ajan Reginald said:

"This is an excellent set of results which demonstrates the Company's strategy to select and acquire novel medicines and to rapidly develop them to reach significant commercial milestones.


"Our MK cells combined with natural killer cells show a profound cancer killing effect across solid tumours, lymphoma and leukaemia. The NK cell activator is a highly attractive market niche with a number of recent high value transactions. Today's results build on the excellent results we have reported for our siRNA and Midkine programs.


"Our portfolio is attracting interest from Big Pharma and private equity, and in line with our strategy, we are engaged in discussions with these potential partners. In the meantime, we will continue to deliver these value enhancing milestones across our programs on time and within budget."



Roquefort Therapeutics plc

Stephen West (Chairman) / Ajan Reginald (CEO)

+44 (0)20 3918 8633


Hybridan LLP (Joint Broker)

Claire Louise Noyce


Optiva Securities Limited (Joint Broker)


+44 (0)203 764 2341

Christian Dennis


Buchanan (Public Relations)

Ben Romney / Jamie Hooper / George Beale


+44 (0)20 3411 1881



+44 (0)20 7466 5000



LEI: ?254900P4SISIWOR9RH34


About Roquefort Therapeutics

Roquefort Therapeutics (LSE:ROQ, OTCQB:ROQAF) is a Main Market listed biotech company developing first in class drugs in the high value and high growth oncology segment prior to partnering or selling to big pharma.


Since listing in March 2021, Roquefort Therapeutics has successfully acquired Lyramid Pty Limited, a leader in the development of medicines for a new therapeutic target, Midkine (a human growth factor associated with cancer progression), and most recently acquired Oncogeni Ltd, founded by Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Martin Evans, which has developed two families of innovative cell and RNA oncology medicines.


Roquefort Therapeutics' portfolio consists of five novel patent-protected pre-clinical anti-cancer medicines.  The highly complementary profile of five best-in-class medicines consists of:

·    Midkine antibodies with significant in vivo efficacy and toxicology studies;

·    Midkine RNA therapeutics with novel anti-cancer gene editing action;

·    Midkine mRNA therapeutics with novel anti-cancer approach;

·    STAT-6 siRNA therapeutics targeting solid tumours with significant in vivo efficacy; and

·    MK cell therapy with direct and NK cell-mediated anti-cancer action


For further information on Roquefort Therapeutics, please visit www.roquefortplc.com and @RoquefortTherap on X (formerly Twitter).


[1] https://www.biospace.com/article/sanofi-deepens-nk-cell-therapy-partnership-with-innate-pharma/

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