Kynos Therapeutics secures £9m investment package led by Epidarex Capital

University of Edinburgh spin-out Kynos Therapeutics has secured a £9 million investment package led by Epidarex Capital, joined by IP Group and Scottish Enterprise.

Kynos Therapeutics secures £9m investment package led by Epidarex Capital

Professor Scott Webster, CSO and Professor Damian Mole, CEO, co-founders of Kynos Therapeutics

Kynos has also been awarded £2.5m through an Innovate UK grant to fund a first-time in human Phase 1 clinical trial of its lead KMOi, KNS366. Kynos has a completed IND-enabling package and is preparing to start a single ascending dose study with biomarker analysis.

The funding will be used to finance its lead KMO inhibitor (KMOi) programme through Phase 1 clinical trials and to progress its innovative pipeline of first-in-class KMOi across key indications in inflammation, immunity and metabolism.

Kynos is a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh (UoE), based on over a decade of research into KMO biology and its inhibitors. Its technology and KMOis were co-developed during a multi-year collaborative programme between the UoE founders and GSK. The collaboration concluded in 2019 and data packages and all rights and intellectual property were transferred to the UoE. GSK is eligible for a royalty should a medicine be registered.

KMO plays a major role in the control of inflammation and metabolism, contributing to the regulation of the immune system. It is a mitochondrial enzyme that converts kynurenine into biologically active 3HK that damages cells. Blocking KMO reduces 3HK, protecting against tissue damage.

Professor Damian Mole, CEO of Kynos Therapeutics, said: “Our goal is to improve health and make a positive impact for patients, by developing our programme in the therapeutic area of inflammation and immunometabolism. We are very excited by the potential of our first-in-class KMO inhibitors and we are ready to enter the clinic with our lead asset.

“Our programmes are based on extensive industry collaborative research with a robust science base supported by multiple high impact publications. There are no approved or marketed medicines for our gateway indication, for which there is a significant unmet need.”

Dr Elizabeth Roper, partner at Epidarex Capital and Kynos Investor Director, added: “Kynos has a first-in-class set of KMO inhibitors that we believe have potential in multiple therapeutic areas. We look forward to working closely with the team and the syndicate to progress these assets into the clinic and to realise the potential of Kynos’s world-class science.”

Kerry Sharp, director of growth investments at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “Scotland is globally renowned for its strengths in life sciences because of our innovative companies, incredible talent and world-class universities. Supporting companies in this sector, such as Kynos Therapeutics, to progress its ground-breaking medical research is a priority for Scottish Enterprise. Kynos is developing an innovative portfolio of first-in-class medicines and this funding will help deliver therapies for patients impacted by inflammatory conditions.”

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