Kyn Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company advancing new immunometabolism therapies for treating cancer, raised $49m in Series A funding.
The round was led by Atlas Venture and OrbiMed.
The company intends to use the funds to advance a pipeline of clinical- and pre-clinical stage therapies, including a program scheduled to enter clinical studies in 2018.
Led by Mark Manfredi, chief executive officer, Kyn Therapeutics is focused on immunometabolism, an area of immuno-oncology that leverages the impact that various metabolic pathways and metabolites have on the immune system.
Each candidate is designed to reverse the effects of an immunosuppressive metabolite promoted by cancer cells, and therefore complement or enhance the outcomes achieved by checkpoint inhibitor therapies.
The company’s preclinical programs attack components of the IDO and TDO pathways by targeting their resultant immunosuppressive metabolite kynurenine as well as a downstream receptor.
The first program focuses on “Kynase”, an enzyme that degrades kynurenine directly and thereby addresses both IDO- and/or TDO-driven immunosuppression. The second program blocks immunosuppression mediated by activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), which is activated by various immunometabolites including kynurenine. The Series A capital includes a $28 million allocation to these IDO/TDO programs.
The most clinically advanced program in development by Kyn Therapeutics is named ARY-007 and blocks the EP4 receptor, which is involved in the highly characterized prostaglandin E2 pathway. ARY-007 is held by Arrys Therapeutics, an affiliate of Kyn which has exclusively subcontracted the development of ARY-007 to Kyn Therapeutics.
The Series A capital includes a $21m allocation to Arrys Therapeutics for the ARY-007 program.