NantKwest Names Sonja Nelson Chief Financial Officer

NantKwest, Inc. (Nasdaq: NK) today announced the elevation of Sonja
Nelson, chief accounting officer for the company, to the role of Chief
Financial Officer (CFO).

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Sonja Nelson new CFO at NanKwest (Photo: Business Wire)

Nelson, who first joined NantKwest in 2015, as the top financial officer
at NantKwest, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on
harnessing the power of the innate immune system by using natural killer
cells to treat cancer, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases.
Nelson succeeds Rich Tajak, who had served as the company’s CFO since
January 2016.

“Sonja brings a bright mind and a fresh perspective to this post with
NantKwest,” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman and CEO of NantKwest.
“I’m excited to have her elevated to this leadership role and look
forward to working closely with her.”

Prior to joining NantKwest in 2015, Mrs. Nelson served as Vice President
& Corporate Controller at AltheaDx, Inc. from 2014 and as Senior
Director & Controller at Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (former NASDAQ:
CADX) from 2012 to 2014.

Mrs. Nelson also served as Director, General Accounting at Cricket
Communications, Inc. (former NASDAQ: LEAP), a $3 billion wireless
services provider, between 2008 and 2012. She started her career at KPMG
and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and taxation from the
University of Applied Sciences in Pforzheim, Germany. She is also a
Certified Public Accountant.

About NantKwest Inc.

NantKwest (Nasdaq:NK) is a pioneering, next generation, clinical-stage
immunotherapy company focused on harnessing the unique power of our
immune system using natural killer (NK) cells to treat cancer,
infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. NK cells are the body’s
first line of defense due to the innate ability of NK cells to rapidly
identify and destroy cells under stress, such as cancer or
virally-infected cells.

NantKwest’s unique NK cell-based platform, with the capacity to grow
active killer cells as a biological cancer therapy, has been designed to
induce cell death against cancer or infected cells by three different
modes of action: (1) Direct killing using activated NK cells (aNK) that
release toxic granules directly into the cell through cell to cell
contact, (2) Antibody-mediated killing using haNKs, which are NK cells
engineered to incorporate a high affinity receptor that binds to an
administered antibody, enhancing the cancer cell killing effect of that
antibody, and (3) Targeted activated killing using taNKs, which are NK
cells engineered to incorporate chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to
target tumor-specific antigens found on the surface of cancer cells.

Our aNK, haNK and taNK platform addresses certain limitations of T cell
therapies including the reduction of risk of serious “cytokine storms”
reported after T cell therapy. As an “off-the-shelf” therapy,
NantKwest’s NK cells do not rely on a patient’s own often compromised
immune system. In Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with late stage
cancer, NantKwest’s NK cells have been successfully administered as an
outpatient infusion therapy without any reported severe side effects,
even at doses of 10 billion cells.

By leveraging an integrated and extensive genomics and transcriptomics
discovery and development engine, together with a pipeline of multiple,
clinical-stage, immuno-oncology programs that include a Phase 2 trial
for a rare form of melanoma and the planned initiation of a clinical
trial of NK cells targeted to breast cancer, we believe NantKwest is
uniquely positioned to be the premier immunotherapy company and
transform medicine by delivering living drugs in a bag and bringing
novel NK cell-based therapies to routine clinical care. For more
information please visit http://www.nantkwest.com
and follow Dr. Soon-Shiong on Twitter@DrPatSoonShiong

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