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Boston, Mass. – January 18, 2019 – Kyn Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing research into new immunometabolic therapies for treating cancer, today announced it has entered into a global strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG). The goal of the collaboration is to develop novel immuno-oncology therapies through uniting Kyn’s immuno-oncology expertise and pipeline with Celgene’s capabilities for developing and commercializing medicines in areas of high unmet medical need. The collaboration begins with an upfront payment and an equity investment by Celgene, which receives exclusive options to license Kyn’s aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) antagonist program and its kynurenine-degrading enzyme (“Kynase”) program.
AHR and kynurenine are associated with immunosuppression in a range of tumor types through multiple cellular metabolic mechanisms that modulate both innate and adaptive immunity. These attributes make them compelling targets for investigative therapies, in particular in patients who do not fully benefit from current treatments like checkpoint inhibitors.
“At Kyn, our team has built a diverse portfolio informed by the most compelling biology in the field of immunometabolism to establish a leadership position in this area of innovative cancer therapy development,” said Mark Manfredi, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Kyn Therapeutics. “Celgene’s R&D capabilities and focus on groundbreaking biology are a strong strategic fit for Kyn’s programs. As a fast-growing immuno-oncology therapeutics developer, we also welcome Celgene on board as an equity investor and supporter of our R&D strategy and leadership.”
“This collaboration signals our continued commitment to work with partners to develop innovative treatments for patients with unmet medical need,” said Robert Hershberg, M.D., Ph.D., EVP, head of business development and global alliances for Celgene Corporation.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kyn will receive an upfront cash payment of $80 million and an equity investment from Celgene for exclusive options to globally license the Kynase and AHR antagonist programs. For each program, Kyn is responsible for R&D activities through Phase 1b, at which time Celgene can opt in to lead and fund global development and commercialization of the licensed programs. If successful, Kyn is eligible for substantial clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Kyn will also receive tiered royalties on worldwide net sales on products resulting from development of the licensed programs.
About Kyn Therapeutics
Kyn Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing new immunometabolic therapies for cancer. A growing body of research indicates that key metabolites can exert broad suppressive or enhancing effects on the immune system through a complex network of cellular interactions, providing targets for new therapies that could significantly enhance patient response rates to checkpoint inhibitors. Kyn Therapeutics is advancing development programs with targets strongly implicated in immunosuppression across a range of tumor types and via multiple immune cell effects. Kyn launched in December 2017 with a $49M Series A funding provided by OrbiMed Advisors and Atlas Venture. Kyn Therapeutics is based in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.kyntherapeutics.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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