CAMBRIDGE, Md. and SUZHOU, China, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kira Pharmaceuticals, a global biotechnology company pioneering a new generation of complement-targeted therapies to treat immune-mediated diseases, today announced $46M in investments secured to date and the appointment of Frederick Beddingfield, MD, PhD as Chief Executive Officer. Kira is backed by a syndicate of leading global life science venture firms including Quan Capital, 6 Dimensions Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, and Sinopharm Capital and plans to rapidly advance a pipeline of novel therapies designed to achieve better, longer lasting immune modulation.
"Kira has developed a scientifically innovative platform technology and a breakthrough approach to developing transformative therapies for patients with complement-mediated diseases," said Peter Wirth, senior advisor and board member of Kira Pharmaceuticals and Venture Partner at the lead investor Quan Capital. "We are pleased to welcome Frederick at a critical time for the organization. His experience and expertise in building and guiding research organizations will be invaluable as Kira prepares to advance a robust pipeline of complement targeted therapies to the clinic."
"Kira's founding team has developed an intelligent drug discovery platform driving the development of novel compounds with the ability to overcome the challenges of complement drug discovery and modulate the complement system in new and thoughtful ways," said Dr. Beddingfield, CEO, Kira Pharmaceuticals. "I am honored and excited to join Kira on its mission to advance several first-in-class therapies for the benefit of patients in desperate need of treatment options."
With a therapeutic focus on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and oncology, Kira has plans to advance three complement-targeted therapies to the clinic over the next 18 months. Kira's most advanced program, P014, is a first-in-class biologic drug with a unique mechanism of action designed to inhibit both upstream and downstream complement targets. By regulating two separate rate-limiting steps in the complement activation cascade that are critical for disease development, P014 provides a powerful, and potentially safer approach to complement inhibition. P014 has also been engineered with an extended half-life and potency, with the opportunity for self-administration at home.
Founded by some of the foremost experts in complement biology, Kira Pharmaceuticals has designed its LOGIC drug discovery platform (Lead identification, Optimization and attribute Generation, In vivo Confirmation) to overcome the challenges of complement drug discovery. The complement system is a key driver and amplifier of inflammation and tissue damage in many human diseases but is complex and historically difficult to target.
"This drug discovery platform is based on technology and animal models licensed from the University of Pennsylvania and I am very pleased to see this effort to translate our research findings into medicine for patients in need," said Wenchao Song, PhD, scientific co-founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Kira Pharmaceuticals. Song is also a professor of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Beddingfield joins Kira with nearly 20 years of biopharma experience. Beddingfield will lead Kira as the company moves quickly to expand the impact of its LOGIC platform while advancing a portfolio of complement-targeted therapies into the clinic. Most recently, Dr. Beddingfield was founder and CEO of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, a company developing topical and systemic therapies for inflammatory and immune-mediated skin diseases. Prior to Sienna, he served as Chief Medical Officer at both Kythera and Allergan Medical. Dr. Beddingfield is board certified in Dermatology, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Cutaneous Oncology and Emergency Medicine. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA. Dr. Beddingfield received his MD from the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill and PhD from Pardee RAND Graduate School.
About Kira Pharmaceuticals
Kira Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company developing complement-targeted therapies to treat immune-mediated diseases. Enabled by its LOGIC drug discovery platform, the company is committed to advancing first-in-class and best-in-class therapies to transform the lives of patients with complement-driven diseases. With offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and an R&D center in Suzhou, China, Kira Pharmaceuticals is committed to establishing a global footprint and advancing life-changing therapies to patients around the world.
For more information, please visit www.kirapharma.com.
SOURCE Kira Pharmaceuticals