6 Dec 2018

Towards a Predictable Combination Therapy for Multiple Cancer Types


Glycostem and ENPICOM receive MIT Zuid subsidy to support their R&D partnership project of over half a million euros

Oss – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, December 6, 2018– Today, two innovative Dutch SME’s active in Life Sciences, Glycostem Therapeutics BV and ENPICOM BV, announced that their joint MIT Zuid R&D partnership subsidy has been granted.The aim of the collaboration is to develop technology to predict the outcome of an NK-cell-based immunotherapy treatment in patients with incurable locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors, for which there is no standard therapy.

Background problem

The predictability of outcomes of universal NK-cell therapy (oNKord®) and immune suppressive effects are needed to select the best approach in a new immunotherapy against cancer.

Project goals

The primary goal is predicting the outcome of an NK-cell-based immunotherapy treatment in patients with incurable locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors, for which there is no standard therapy.

The integrated T-cell receptor and NK-cell receptor repertoire analysis developed in this project enables the development of a unique data-driven combination therapy that provides:

  • A new immune suppression regimen in combination with allogeneic NK-cell therapy for the treatment of multiple cancer types
  • An integrated model based on machine learning to predict smart treatment of immune suppression and the outcome of subsequent NK-cell therapy.

Approach & deliverables

A smart machine learning driven approach is needed. Jan Spanholtz, PhD, Glycostem Therapeutics BV’s CSO, commented: “That is why ENPICOM BV, a promising start-up with leading technology for analysis and visualisation of immunogenomic data, and Glycostem have joined forces.This R&D collaboration enables predictive modelling for smart immune suppression as preconditioning to allow allogeneic NK-cell infusion as cancer treatment. Glycostem adds specific immunotherapy knowledge to the project. ENPICOM introduces leading knowledge and experience in bioinformatics and software engineering.

Jos Lunenberg, CEO of ENPICOM, added: “We are extremely pleased with this R&D partnership, as it enables us to broaden the scope of immunotherapies that we can guide with our technology from T and B cell-based to NK-cell-based therapies. Glycostem, a pioneer and expert in this field, is for us the ideal partner to adapt our technology to also support NK-cell receptor repertoire analysis”.

About Glycostem

Netherlands-based Glycostem Therapeutics BV, a clinical stage and privately held biotech company focused on developing off-the-shelf allogeneic cellular immunotherapy using Natural Killer (NK) cells to treat several types of cancer. NK-cells are the body’s first line of defence because of the innate ability of NK-cells to rapidly and accurately identify and destroy cells under stress, such as cancer or virally-infected cells.

Glycostem’s lead product, oNKord®, is produced in a closed system in Glycostem’s state-of-the-art production facility in The Netherlands, from which the product can be distributed globally. The platform technology includes ex vivo expansion of a high number of pure and highly activated NK-cells for clinical applications. oNKord® successfully concluded phase I clinical trial (elderly and fragile AML patients), providing solid safety data and strong indication of clinical activity, including response on MRD. Glycostem expects to obtain GMP certification by early of 2019 and is planning to enter pivotal clinical trial in the first half of 2019.

Thanks to a solid patent portfolio, longstanding technical expertise and resources, as well as ‘Orphan Drug Designation’, Glycostem has secured a leadership position in the global NK-cell market. For more information visit www.glycostem.com.


ENPICOM is a young, dynamic and rapidly expanding bioinformatics software development company. Originally set up in 2015 as a service organization building tailored solutions in the broad field of bioinformatics, since 2017 ENPICOM is also on a mission to bring to the market innovative products in the field of immunogenomics. Its first product in the pipeline is an innovative T-cell receptor and B-cell receptor repertoire analysis platform, to support the development, patient stratification and treatment monitoring of immunotherapies. For more information, visit: www.enpicom.com.

About MIT Zuid

MIT Zuid stands for “Subsidieregeling MKB Innovatiestimulering Topsectoren Zuid-Nederland 2015”. This subsidy scheme aims to stimulate innovation in SMEs. It exists since 2015 and translates in “Subsidy scheme SME innovation stimulation Top Sectors South Netherlands 2015 (MIT Zuid)”. In 2018 MIT Zuid runs in the three southern Dutch provinces. As part of MIT Zuid’s financial support is available for two types of projects: Feasibility and R&D partnership Projects. This latter concernsaproject through partnership of at least two SMEs focused on industrial research and experimental development that contributes to the innovation of products, processes or services, or lead to significant new applications of existing products, processes or services.