SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kineta is pleased to announce it has secured exclusive, worldwide development rights from the University of Utah Research Foundation to a portfolio of drug candidates based on the Conotoxin Rg1a for the non-narcotic treatment of chronic pain. Derived from the Rg1a peptide found in the venom of cone snails, these molecules were discovered in the pioneering laboratory of Baldomero Olivera, Ph.D. and are featured in an article in the February issue of National Geographic magazine.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Kineta to leverage its expertise in venom peptide therapeutics to provide a medical solution to an emergent need. We have in our hands the potential to replace some of the most dangerous and abused prescription drugs on the market - opioid analgesics including morphine and oxycontin. It is imperative that our industry develop treatments for chronic pain that are potent and effective without producing the destructive, sometimes deadly side-effects of opioid drugs,” said Shawn P. Iadonato, Ph.D., Kineta’s Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President. Dr. Olivera has an established record of discovering successful conotoxin-derived molecules; the FDA approved non-narcotic pain medicine Prialt® (Zicoconotide) is based on his laboratory’s seminal work.
Cone snails are “like little drug companies that have engineered their own compounds to suit their needs,” Dr. Olivera explains to readers in the National Geographic story, “A Healing Bite”. Peptides like those in cone snail venom block excitatory ion channels in the neurons that transmit pain signals to the brain without affecting the brain itself, and thus do not produce tolerance or addiction or affect mental acuity.
The National Geographic story is a scientific overview of the therapeutic potential of venom that also features a second Kineta drug candidate, ShK-186. Derived from a venom peptide of the Caribbean Sea anemone, ShK-186 is Kineta’s lead clinical stage autoimmune drug candidate. The National Geographic article highlights its ability to suppress self-reactive inflammatory processes in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus without shutting down the entire immune system. ShK-186 was originally developed in the lab of K. George Chandy, M.D., Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine who is quoted in the article as saying “… anecdotal reports from patients in the field have been inspiring to my team, and encourage us to fully explore venom as a wellspring of potential new therapies.” Kineta obtained development rights and has advanced ShK-186 into Phase 1 human clinical trials.
All of Kineta’s venom-derived medicines are made synthetically without harming or harvesting marine animals. The company strongly supports National Geographic magazine’s concluding thesis that drug development is another vital reason for conserving biodiversity. For more information on today’s announcement or to schedule interviews, contact Meg O’Conor, Investor Relations Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-251-8638.
Prialt® is a registered trademark of Jazz Pharmaceuticals International Limited.
Kineta, Inc. is a Seattle-based privately held biotechnology company specializing in clinical advancement of novel drug candidates derived from leading edge scientific research. Our world class scientists are pioneers in developing life-changing classes of new drugs designed to be more effective and safer than current medicines. Kineta seeks to improve the lives of millions of people suffering from autoimmune and viral diseases and from severe pain. Our progressive business model focuses on targeting unmet medical needs and rapid achievement of important clinical milestones. For more information on Kineta, Inc. visit our website, www.Kinetabio.com
NOTICE: This document contains certain forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding Kineta’s plans for clinical studies. You are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties inherent in Kineta’s business which could significantly affect expected results, including without limitation progress of drug development, clinical testing and regulatory approval, developments in raw material and personnel costs, and legislative, fiscal, and other regulatory measures. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Kineta undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.