Innovative Therapies | Transforming Lives


RIG-I Pathway
Disruptive technology to turn a cold tumor hot

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide. The evolution of immunotherapies has created new treatment options for some types of cancer but the overall patient response rates remain low. Engineered T cell therapies only work in blood cancers and are limited by safety concerns. Checkpoint inhibitors (CI) only enable existing memory T cell populations and have low complete response rates in the clinic approximately 20-30% with single CI treatment. All immunotherapies require the presence of tumor specific T cells that many patients do not have.

Kineta Immuno-Oncology is developing a disruptive technology focused on immune stimulation to turn cold tumors hot. Small molecule drugs target the RIG-I pathway, an effective but unexploited pathway for drug discovery. The drug mechanism drives tumor immunity through direct tumor cell killing and direct activation of antigen presentation cells. It enhances tumor specific T cell populations critical for complete response rates of other immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors.

The RIG-I pathway has been well studied in infectious disease. The immune stimulation, inflammation and cell death mechanisms can be exploited to kill tumor cells, trigger an immune response and turn cold tumors hot. Our small molecule drugs, trick tumor cells into thinking they are infected with a virus, an effective anti-tumor mechanism.

Kineta Immuno-oncology’s small molecule RIG-I drugs shift the treatment paradigm by linking direct tumor cell killing and immune cell activation. In tumor cells, the drugs cause immunogenic cell death that is not observed in healthy cells demonstrating good selectivity. Additionally, the drugs function directly on immune cells and promote dendritic cell maturation important for generating anti-tumor T cell responses. This dual drug mechanism and strong selectivity in tumor cells makes Kineta’s RIG-I program unique and differentiated from other immunotherapies in development.

In a colon carcinoma model, a single administration of drug demonstrated tumor regression and an adaptive immune response that protected mice from future tumor challenge. In this preclinical study, our small molecule drug induced tumor immunity.

Kineta Immuno-Oncology is currently in lead optimization and development for solid tumors as a monotherapy or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Novel new immunotherapies are needed to improve long term survival in cancer patients. The immuno-oncology market is rapidly evolving and is projected to grow to over $34 billion by 2024. 1

1. Globaldata Immuno-Oncology Strategic Insight: Multi-Indication and Market Size Analysis; May 2016;