Kineta Secures NIAID Grant Worth Up to $5.8M to Evaluate LHF-535 in Arenaviruses
Seattle, WA — (July 15, 2019) Kineta, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel immunotherapies in oncology, neuroscience and biodefense, announced today that it has secured a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) worth up to $5.8 million over 5 years to evaluate LHF-535 as a potential treatment for hemorrhagic arenaviruses including Lassa, Junín and Machupo. LHF-535, Kineta’s lead biodefense asset, is a novel once-daily oral antiviral drug currently being evaluated in Phase 1 safety trials in healthy volunteers.
“This new collaboration with NIAID provides Kineta with the ability to expand the potential indications for LHF-535 to other arenaviruses beyond Lassa fever,” said Kineta CEO Shawn Iadonato. “These life-threatening hemorrhagic viruses pose a significant biodefense threat in the U.S. as well as a global health issue for patients in western Africa and South America.”
The project, funded by NIAID through grant R01AI141102, is focused on developing LHF-535 as a broad-spectrum antiviral drug for treating hemorrhagic fever disease caused by several arenaviruses. Additionally, Kineta will focus on defining how arenaviruses may develop resistance to the drug and developing an alternative formulation for intravenous dosing in patients. Because no drugs are approved for Lassa or any other arenavirus disease, LHF-535 has the potential to significantly improve global health and serve as a biodefense medical countermeasure.
Kineta, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company committed to developing disruptive life science technologies that address unmet patient needs. We have leveraged our expertise in immunology to advance a focused pipeline of investigational drugs in oncology, neuroscience and biodefense. We actively collaborate with a broad array of private, government and industry partners to advance our innovative products. For more information on Kineta visit our website, www.kinetabio.com, follow us on Twitter at @kinetabio, LinkedIn and Like us on facebook.com/KinetaBio.
Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that is known to be endemic in West Africa. NIAID and CDC have identified it as a Category A pathogen that poses the highest risk to national security and public health. Lassa fever causes 100,000-300,000 infections and is responsible for ~5000 deaths annually in West Africa. Death rates are particularly high for women in the third trimester of pregnancy and fetal loss occurs in nearly all infected pregnant women. There is a significant unmet medical need as there are currently no therapeutics or vaccines that are indicated to treat Lassa fever.
LHF-535 is a first-in-class antiviral treatment with potent activity against Lassa and other arenaviruses. It inhibits virus entry into target host cells and serves to suppress viral replication. It has demonstrated safety and efficacy in preclinical models. In preclinical studies, LHF-535, reduced virus titers and provided complete survival when administered as a therapeutic in animals infected with Lassa. LHF-535 is a once daily oral therapeutic currently being evaluated in first-in-human Phase 1 safety studies. Kineta is receiving funding from the Wellcome Trust to advance LHF-535 through Phase I human safety studies and the National Institutes of Health to investigate broad activity against arenaviruses.
NOTICE: This document contains certain forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding Kineta’s and Kineta Immuno-Oncology’s plans for pre-clinical and clinical studies, regulatory filings, investor returns and anticipated drug effects in human subjects. You are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties inherent in Kineta’s and Kineta Immuno-Oncology’s businesses which could significantly affect expected results, including without limitation progress of drug development, ability to raise capital to fund 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 will not undertake any obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.
Contact Jacques Bouchy