for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at UC Davis UC Irvine
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
Leonid Groysman, MD (uci)Stuart Cohen, MD (ucdavis)



This study is a Phase 1 / 2 trial to determine the safety and efficacy of CYNK-001, an immunotherapy containing Natural Killer (NK) cells derived from human placental CD34+ cells and culture-expanded, in patients with moderate COVID-19 disease.

Official Title

A Phase I/II Study of Human Placental Hematopoietic Stem Cell Derived Natural Killer Cells (CYNK-001) for the Treatment of Adults With COVID-19


Coronavirus Coronavirus Infection Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Pneumonia Pneumonia, Viral Lung Diseases Respiratory Tract Disease Respiratory Tract Infections Coronaviridae Infections Nidovirales Infections RNA Virus Infections Virus Disease Immunologic Disease ARDS Immunologic Factors Physiological Effects of Drugs Antiviral Agents Anti-infective Agents Analgesics Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic CYNK-001 COVID-19 SARS-Cov-2 cell therapy NK cells natural killer cells Infection Communicable Diseases Coronavirus Infections Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus Diseases Respiratory Tract Diseases Immune System Diseases


For people ages 18 years and up

Patient Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patient has confirmed positivity for SARS-CoV-2 as measured by rRT-PCR or other approved test to detect SAR-CoV-2 per institutional practice.
  • Patient is experiencing at least 2 of the 3 signs/symptoms of the list below:
  • Fever ≥ 38 C°
  • Cough
  • Positive disease-related chest x-ray
  • Patient is ≥ 18 years of age at the time of signing the Study informed consent form (ICF).
  • Patient understands and voluntarily signs the Study ICF prior to any study-related assessments/procedures are conducted.
  • Patient is willing and able to adhere to the study schedule and other protocol requirements.
  • SpO2 ≥ 88% with the following specifications:

Phase I: SpO2 ≥ 88%

  • Supplemental oxygen is permitted as delivered by nasal cannula and/or face mask.
  • Patients who require supplemental oxygen must be between the age of 18 and 72 years.

Phase II: SpO2 ≥ 88%

  • Patients must be greater than 18 years of age.
  • Ability to be off immunosuppressive drugs for 3 days prior to infusion, unless clinically indicated. Steroids are permitted if clinically indicated and at the discretion of the treating physician.
  • Female of childbearing potential (FCBP)* must not be pregnant and agree to not becoming pregnant for at least 28 days following the last infusion of CYNK-001. FCBP must agree to use an adequate method of contraception during the treatment period.
  • FCBP is a female who: 1) has achieved menarche at some point, 2) has not undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy or 3) has not been naturally postmenopausal (amenorrhea following cancer therapy does not rule out childbearing potential) for at least 24 consecutive months (i.e., has had menses at any time in the preceding 24 consecutive months).
  • Male Patients must agree to use a condom during sexual contact for at least 28 days following the last infusion of CYNK-001, even if he has undergone a successful vasectomy.

Patient Exclusion Criteria

  • Patient requires supplemental oxygen delivered by mechanical ventilation, either invasive or bilevel positive airway pressure.
  • Patient admitted to Intensive Care Unit / Pulmonary Acute Care Unit designated area with severe pulmonary pneumonia, ARDS or Sepsis.
  • Patient is pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Patient has a history of severe asthma and is presently on chronic medications or has a history of other symptomatic pulmonary disease.
  • Patient has any other organ dysfunction [Common Terminology Criteria for AEs (CTCAE) Version 5.0 Grade 3] that will interfere with the administration of the therapy according to this protocol.
  • Patient has inadequate organ function as defined below at time of Treatment

Eligibility Period:

  1. Patient has aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), or alkaline phosphatase ≥ 5 x the upper limit of normal (ULN). (It is anticipated that the infection may impact liver.)
  2. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 as calculated using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation (Levey, 2006) or history of an abnormal eGFR < 60. A decline of > 15 mL/min/1.73 m2 below normal in the past year prior to infection. (It is anticipated that the infection may impact renal function.)

  3. Patient has a bilirubin level > 2 mg/dL (unless Patient has known Gilbert's Syndrome).
  4. Patient has a known sensitivity or allergy to treatment additives or diluent substances of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), PlasmaLyte A or human serum albumin (HSA). Please refer to investigational brochure (IB).
  5. Patient has active autoimmune disease other than controlled connective tissue disorder or those who are not on active therapy.
  6. Patient is immunocompromised, has known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positivity, or has actively been treated with immunosuppressive products prior to being infected with SARS-CoV-2.
  7. Patient has known active malignancy, unless the Patient has been free of disease for > 3 years from the date of signing the ICF. Exceptions include the following noninvasive malignancies:
  8. Basal cell carcinoma of the skin
  9. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin
  10. Carcinoma in situ of the cervix
  11. Carcinoma in situ of the breast
  12. Incidental histological finding of prostate cancer (TNM stage of T1a or T1b)
  13. Detection of other respiratory viruses from mucosal surfaces that would interfere with the study treatment plan.
  14. Patient must not have a history of unconsciousness or hemoptysis within 2 weeks of signing informed consent form.


  • UC Irvine accepting new patients
    Irvine California 92697 United States
  • UC Davis Medical Center accepting new patients
    Sacramento California 95817 United States
  • Scripps Health not yet accepting patients
    San Diego California 92121 United States

Lead Scientists at UC Cancer

  • Leonid Groysman, MD (uci)
    Associate Clinical Professor, Neurology. Authored (or co-authored) 12 research publications.
  • Stuart Cohen, MD (ucdavis)
    Professor, Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology and Immunology. Authored (or co-authored) 101 research publications.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Celularity Incorporated
Phase 1/2
Study Type
Last Updated