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Kynos clinical trials begin

18 May 2023

Biotechnology spinout Kynos Therapeutics Ltd has announced that dosing is underway in a first in-human phase I trial of its lead drug candidate, KNS366.

The company, spun out from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Inflammation Research following a decade of research, is developing a portfolio of first-in-class kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) inhibitors.

KMO plays a major role in the regulation of inflammation, acting at the interface between inflammation, immunity and metabolism, and inhibition of KMO has therapeutic potential in a range of indications.

The Kynos pipeline is focused on three key areas: in critical illness post-surgery; in conditions driven by inflammation; and in cancers where inflammation is preventing the immune system from fighting back.

The first-in-human study of KNS366 is to investigate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of single and multiple doses in healthy adult participants. The study is being conducted at a single site in the UK and full results are expected in early 2024.

Professor Damian Mole (pictured, right), Kynos Therapeutics founder and CSO, as well as 1777 Chair of Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, said:

KMO is a target of increasing interest for the development of new medicines and it is fantastic to see our highly selective KMO inhibitor, KNS366, moving into clinical development.
The data generated from the advanced analysis of biomarkers will allow measurement of KMO inhibition and the impact that has on inflammatory mechanisms important in human disease. This information will be invaluable for designing the next stage of clinical trials in patients. ”

The University’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations (EI), assisted the academic founders and team throughout the industry engagement and spinout process and continues to provide support to the company.

Dr Susan Bodie, Head of Business Development for the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at EI, said:

It’s been a great pleasure working with the Kynos team on their innovation journey and we’re thrilled that they’ve reached this important milestone.
With cutting edge facilities and research capability, the University of Edinburgh innovation ecosystem is ideally placed to translate world-class research into real world solutions. ”

Kynos Therapeutics CEO Jonathan Savidge added:

Progressing our lead KMO inhibitor rapidly into Phase I is a major milestone for Kynos. We are not aware of any other KMO inhibitors in clinical development and look forward to generating data in humans with this first-in-class mechanism. We appreciate the support of Innovate UK for its contribution to the financing of this trial. ”

Photograph: Professor Scott Webster and Professor Damian Mole (right), of Kynos Therapeutics.

Related links

Kynos Therapeutics

Centre for Inflammation Research

Staff Enterprise