Kinnate Biopharma Raises $98M in Series C Financing Round

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California-based Kinnate Biopharma announced on Wednesday that it has raised $98 million in Series C financing, led by RA Capital Management. New investors who joined the funding round include Viking Global Investors, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners and Janus Henderson Investors.

“In just over two years, Kinnate has built a proprietary pipeline of kinase inhibitors from the ground up, and this significant financing positions us to advance at least one of our lead product candidates into clinical development in the first half of next year,” said Nima Farzan, CEO of Kinnate. “We are pleased to expand our syndicate of world-class healthcare investors during this exciting time of growth for the company. Their expertise will be invaluable as we execute on our vision of increasing the availability of targeted therapies for the many cancer patients who currently lack access to effective precision medicines.”

Kinnate has a wholly owned kinase inhibitor portfolio of new targeted therapy candidates that aim to help those who express resistance to existing precision medicines. The company’s preclinical programs include small molecule inhibitors that target specific classes of BRAF kinase mutations, as well as FGFR2 or FGFR3 alterations.

“The rapid advancement of genomic technologies has enabled the identification of many more people who may benefit from genomically-targeted therapies. However, because of non-response or resistance mutations, many fail to benefit from these potentially life-saving medicines,” said Peter Kolchinsky, Ph.D., managing partner at RA Capital Management. “We are proud to support the Kinnate team and see tremendous potential for their lead programs to significantly increase the number of people who could benefit from targeted precision oncology therapeutics.”

Kinnate announced back in December that it had successfully raised $74.5 million in Series B financing. At the time, new investors included OrbiMed, Nextech Invest Ltd., and Vida Ventures LLC.

Proceeds of the financing were used to advance development candidates from Kinnate’s existing programs. In addition, money was put toward expanding the Kinnate team of drug developers at its headquarters in San Diego, Calif.

“We are excited to expand our team here in San Diego with additional top caliber oncology talent on the strength of this funding,” said Eric Murphy, Ph.D., co-founder and CSO of Kinnate.

Fount Therapeutics secured $22 million in Series A financing from Foresite Capital and Eshelman Ventures back in April 2018 to eventually develop Kinnate. Today, the company is focused on the discovery and development of small molecule kinase inhibitors for difficult-to-treat cancers. Kinnate develops targeted therapies with its expertise in structure-based drug discovery, translational research and patient-driven precision medicine.

In addition to working on its lead candidates, Kinnate is also advancing several small molecule development programs, including a Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 12 (CDK12) inhibitor. To expand upon its progress, the company is working with leaders at precision medicine centers including the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Kinnate’s lead program, which is focused on the development of small molecule kinase inhibitors that target specific classes of BRAF kinase mutations, is in the preclinical stage. However, it has two other programs that are also in the preclinical stage: FGFR2/3 and CDK12.

Its investigation into novel mechanisms is still in the discovery stage. Kinnate notes that it is looking into multiple undisclosed programs that target key molecular drivers in cancers in patients.

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