Policy & Regulation
Kinaset Therapeutics Launches with a USD 40m series A Financing to Develop Novel Therapeutics for Respiratory Diseases
30 November 2020 - - US-based newly-founded biopharmaceutical company Kinaset Therapeutics, Inc has received a USD 40m series A financing with a blue-chip investor syndicate of 5AM Ventures, Atlas Venture, and Gimv, the company said.

The company also announced an exclusive global in-license and services agreement with Vectura Group plc (LSE: VEC) to develop and commercialize KN-002 (formerly known as VR588), a novel, inhaled small-molecule pan-JAK inhibitor, for the treatment of eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic severe asthma.

A Phase 1/1b clinical trial in healthy volunteers and patients is poised to begin in the first half of 2021.

Kinaset is led by an experienced management team and board of directors with strong backgrounds in the development of respiratory therapeutics.

The company is led by chief executive officer Robert Clarke (formerly Pulmatrix, AIR/Alkermes), chief business officer Roger Heerman (GlaxoSmithKline, Vectura), and chief development officer Frazer Morgan (Vectura, 3M), each of whom has over 20 years of experience in the industry.

Thomas B. King (Alexza, Vivus), chairman of the board, is joined on the Kinaset board of directors by founding investors Jamil Beg, Kevin Bitterman (Atlas), and Bram Vanparys.

Kinaset is responsible for the overall development and commercialization of KN-002, with Vectura providing formulation development expertise and manufacturing of clinical trial supplies.

The company will pay Vectura fees for development services, certain regulatory and commercial milestones, and future royalties on global net sales in return for the license.

Asthma is a complex and heterogeneous disease affecting over 300 m people worldwide, with approximately 10% of patients having severe asthma.

Subjects with severe uncontrolled asthma suffer from frequent exacerbations, compromised lung function, and a reduced quality of life.

This group is associated with a disproportionate number of asthma-related hospitalizations and accounts for approximately 50% of asthma-related costs.

Multiple inflammatory pathways are implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma6-8. Eosinophilic asthma, characterized by elevated levels of blood eosinophils and fractional exhaled nitric oxide8, accounts for about two-thirds of patients with severe asthma.

Conversely, a large proportion of subjects do not exhibit an eosinophilic profile and suffer from an inadequate response to parenteral biologicals and oral corticosteroids resulting in a loss of asthma control.

Therefore, additional therapeutics to support these non-eosinophilic patients represent a significant need in asthma control.