Kymera Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering targeted protein degradation to invent breakthrough protein degrader medicines for patients, today announced the closing of a $102 million Series C financing. The round was led by Biotechnology Value Fund (BVF) and Redmile Group with participation from Wellington Management Company, Bain Capital Life Sciences, funds managed by Janus Henderson Investors, BlackRock, Rock Springs Capital and a large US-based, healthcare-focused fund. Existing investors also participated in the round. Kymera also received a strategic investment from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society‘s Therapy Acceleration Program® (LLS TAP) directed toward advancing the company’s work to treat blood-based cancers.
Cambridge, MA-based Kymera Therapeutics was founded in 2017 by Bruce Booth to commercialize a transformative new approach to treating previously untreatable diseases. This venture seeks to advance the field of targeted protein degradation, accessing the body’s innate protein recycling machinery to degrade rather than inhibit dysregulated, diseases-causing proteins. Powered by a proprietary predictive modeling capability and what the company positions as a “game-changing integrated degradation platform with a novel small molecule modality,” the venture’s premise necessitate that it accelerate drug discovery with an unmatched ability to target and degrade the most intractable of proteins, while advancing new treatment options for patients.
Based on LinkedIn, the company employs approximately 50 and has, of course, now secured three major rounds of financing, totaling $197 million according to Crunchbase. TrialSite News profiled them after their announcement they would target a new class of drug for Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
Drugging the Undruggable: Targeted Protein Degradation
Founder Bruce Booth does a nice job of explaining the relatively complex world of targeted protein degradation as this concept underlies the entire Kymera Therapeutics model. “Targeted protein degradation is one of the most promising new therapeutic modalities, with the potential to transform medicine as we know it. Kymera is leading the way with an incredible team, a sophisticated drug discovery platform and important new protein degrader therapies designed to address the most elusive drug targets” said Bruce Booth, DPhil, co-founder, Chairman of the Board of Kymera Therapeutics and partner at Atlas Venture. Booth is also a recovering scientist turned financier.
Core Technology Platform
Kymera’s Pegasus targeted protein degradation platform harnesses the body’s natural protein recycling machinery to degrade disease-causing proteins, with a focus on un-drugged nodes in validated pathways currently inaccessible with conventional therapeutics.
Therapeutic Targets & Programs
The company is exploring multiple different therapeutic areas however oncology and inflammation have the management’s focus and attention at this point. Kymera‘s lead program targets IRAK4, a protein known to play a significant role in inflammation mediated by toll-like and IL-1 receptors. Kymera is planning to advance its IRAK4 degrader program in a variety of autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases, as well as in precision-medicine targeted oncology indications. The company is also developing novel protein degrader therapies to target STAT3, an un-drugged oncogenic transcription factor as well as a driver of inflammation and fibrosis, in a range of cancers and chronic diseases.
Given Kymera was only founded three years ago, it isn’t a surprise that they are still an early-stage clinical biotech company. See their pipeline here.
Nello Mainolfi, PhD, co-founder, President and CEO of Kymera Therapeutics, reported, “We are very excited to be joined by a top-tier group of investors as we continue on our path to become a fully integrated biotech company.” Mainolfi continued “We are well capitalized to advance up to three programs tom the clinic by next year, while we continue to enhance our best-in-class platform to unlock new biology and invent new medicines.”
Other Protein Degradation-focused Ventures
Call to Action: This privately held, VC-based venture has declared via their CEO that the most recent financing will advance up to three programs to the clinic by next year. For those interested in this technology or competitive approaches, TrialSite News offers updates when relevant.