Kyverna Therapeutics, a Berkeley, Calif.-based cell therapy company engineering a new class of therapies for serious autoimmune diseases, raised $25m in Series A funding.
Backers included Vida Ventures and Westlake Village BioPartners. As part of this financing, Fred Cohen, M.D., D.Phil., Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Vida Ventures will serve as Chairman of the Board. Beth Seidenberg, M.D., Co-Founding Managing Director of Westlake Village BioPartners, Desmond Padhi, B.Sc., Pharm. D., Principal at Westlake Village BioPartners, Brian Kotzin, M.D., Senior Vice President of Nektar Therapeutics, Peter Emtage, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Head of Research, Kite, a Gilead Company, one additional representative from Vida Ventures to be named, and Dominic Borie, M.D., Ph.D., will serve on Kyverna’s Board of Directors.
The company intends to use the funds to advance its therapeutic strategy. which combines advanced T cell engineering and synthetic biology technologies to suppress and eliminate autoreactive immune cells at the root cause of inflammatory disease.
Led by newly appointed CEO Dominic Borie, M.D., Ph.D., Kyverna is a cell therapy company engineering a new class of therapies for serious autoimmune diseases. The company’s platform combines advanced T cell engineering and synthetic biology technologies to suppress and eliminate the autoreactive immune cells at the root cause of inflammatory diseases.
Kyverna also announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration and license agreement with Gilead to develop engineered T cell therapies for the treatment of autoimmune disease based on its synthetic Treg platform and synNotch™ technology from Kite, a Gilead Company. The company will be responsible for conducting research activities and initial clinical studies through proof-of-concept and Gilead will be granted an option, upon the exercise of which Gilead will be solely responsible for further clinical development and commercialization efforts for these programs. Gilead will make to Kyverna an upfront payment of $17.5 million and Kyverna may earn an additional $570 million in development and commercialization milestones. Kyverna will also continue to advance its platform and develop proprietary programs beyond the Gilead collaboration.
Dr. Borie is an immunologist and digestive tract and liver transplant surgeon with extensive experience in drug development. He joins Kyverna from Horizon Therapeutics where he served as Vice-President and Head, External Research and Development.
Jeffrey Greve, Ph.D., will continue to serve as Kyverna’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).