Five biotech firms and private investors have announced the launch of KPI Therapeutics, with the aim of speeding advancement of novel, promising drug candidates that can improve the quality of patients’ lives.
KPI is launching with an array of international research team partners, including MPI Research, Chimera Biotec, Life Chemicals, Medical Marketing Economics and Kineta, all experienced in translational drug development. KPI also has attracted private equity investors whose funds are being used to kick-start the KPI development model.
KPI is focused on accelerating translational stage drug programs to fill unmet patient needs. KPI’s partners and investors will supply funding and experience in a collaboration focused on making the early clinical drug validation process more efficient and successful. KPI’s unique business model is designed not only to speed drug development but also to improve investor outcomes over traditional industry models.
In the first stage of the business plan, KPI will focus on the most advanced projects within Kineta’s current drug pipeline. In the future, KPI intends to identify and advance novel programs from other industry sources.
“Despite recent advances in scientific knowledge and reports of promising new medicines from early stage discovery, we have not seen a concurrent surge in innovative therapies for patients reaching the market,” said Charles Magness, president and CEO of Kineta and KPI board chairman. “KPI is designed to bring the capabilities of world-class drug development players and investors into a collaborative alignment where all patients, partners and investors can benefit.”
Dr. Volodymyr Fetyukhin, president of Life Chemicals, cited the reduction of R&D at large pharmaceutical companies as a compelling opportunity for new drug development models like KPI. “With the growing urgency for more effective medicine, there is no better time to maximize the efforts of committed partners to identify, develop and keep developing a pipeline of commercially attractive, diversified early stage products for new therapies,” said Fetyukhin. “We are sure that our experience in medicinal and synthetic chemistry will contribute to the overall success of this partnership, and I am very excited about seeing compounds we have synthesized in action.”
The lead drug in KPI’s investment portfolio, ShK-186, is a novel, immune-sparing therapeutic, which recently completed a phase Ib trial. Additional proof-of-concept trials in psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are planned in 2014. ShK-186 has shown preclinical activity in other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and asthma. KPI’s current investment portfolio also includes novel compounds for antiviral and non-narcotic pain therapies. KPI partners have already contributed to development of the pipeline.
Beena Punnamoottil, CEO of Chimera Biotec, said, “Chimera Biotec’s research team combines inter-disciplinary specialists of chemists and biologists to focus on ultra-sensitive immunoassays for clinical bioanalysis support. Together with Kineta, Chimera Biotec has enabled the progress of a novel extremely potent class of drugs and as part of the KPI alliance we are committed to support these therapies to reach the market.”