Nkarta Therapeutics Expands Management Team and Establishes New Corporate Headquarters

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta Therapeutics, a privately-held cell therapy company developing Natural Killer (NK) immune cells to fight cancer, today announced two new additions to its management team with the appointments of Nadir Mahmood, Ph.D., as senior vice president, Corporate Development and Ralph Brandenberger, Ph.D., as head, Process Development and Manufacturing.  With these key hires, the company has strengthened its business and technical expertise as it advances its technology through research and development.

In addition, the company announced that it has transitioned from its shared JLabs facility and has established a new corporate headquarters in the Shoreline Court Campus in South San Francisco.  The new facility is comprised of approximately 7,200 square feet of office and laboratory space.

“We are in an important phase of growth and progress as a company in pursuit of our mission to improve on cell therapies available to cancer patients using our proprietary Natural Killer cell technology,” said Paul Hastings, president and chief executive officer of Nkarta.  “Nadir and Ralph are important additions to our team, with expertise in key functional areas to advance the company and our proprietary cell therapy program, and we look forward to their contributions.  Additionally, we expect our new facility to support our growing operations for the next several years.”

Nadir Mahmood, Ph.D., joins Nkarta from Second Genome where he was instrumental in building the company’s drug discovery platform and setting strategy across multiple therapeutic areas. He also oversaw partnering efforts and intellectual property.  Earlier in his career, Nadir was a staff scientist at Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (acquired by Allergan) where he oversaw preclinical research for the company’s lead molecule, Kybella, which received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2015.  He also held a post at Goldman Sachs & Co. as an equity research analyst and served as a consultant for early-stage companies in the life sciences and clean energy sectors.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Cell Regulation from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 

Ralph Brandenberger, Ph.D., joins Nkarta with broad experience in process development, technical operations and manufacturing of cell therapeutics and biologics.  Most recently, Ralph served as senior director of Process Development at Neurona Therapeutics where he led process development and manufacturing strategy for the company’s cell therapy platform.  Prior to that, Ralph was head of Technical Operations for Baxalta Hayward, a GMP manufacturing plant for clinical-stage biologics and clinical- and commercial-stage reagents. Earlier in his career, he served in a similar capacity in the development of cell therapeutics at Geron Corporation.  Ralph received a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the Biocenter of the University of Basel, Switzerland. 

About Nkarta

Nkarta Therapeutics was founded on the proprietary, robust and well characterized Natural Killer (NK) cell expansion technology pioneered by Dario Campana.  The company is focused on leveraging the natural potent power of NK cells to identify and kill abnormal cells and recruit adaptive immune effectors to generate responses that are specific and durable.  Nkarta is combining its NK expansion platform technology with proprietary cell engineering technologies to build differentiated autologous and allogeneic cell therapy candidates for the treatment of cancer.  Founded in 2015, the company’s investors include SR One, NEA and Novo Ventures.  For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.nkartatx.com.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/abd9410d-7ed3-428c-b0f1-2d825d3dc702




Nadir Mahmood

Sylvia Wheeler

Nkarta Therapeutics - SSF Headquarters Nadir Mahmood, PhD, Nkarta Therapeutics Ralph Brandenberger, PhD, Nkarta Therapeutics