Kenai Therapeutics announces USD 82Mln series A financing

Kenai Therapeutics Announces $82 Million Series A Financing to Advance Next Generation Allogeneic Cell Therapies for Neurological Diseases
Kenai Therapeutics Announces $82 Million Series A Financing to Advance Next Generation Allogeneic Cell Therapies for Neurological Diseases

Kenai Therapeutics, a biotechnology company leveraging induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to discover and develop a platform of allogeneic neuron replacement cell therapies for neurological disorders, today announced an $82 million Series A financing co-led by Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, Cure Ventures and The Column Group, with participation from Euclidean Capital and Saisei Ventures. Kenai Therapeutics previously raised seed funding under the name Ryne Bio.

“We are grateful for the support of a syndicate of leading life science investors and a team of industry veterans, including scientific co-founders Dr. Howard Federoff and Dr. Jeffrey Kordower, who see the promise in Kenai’s approach to treating central nervous system disorders,” said Nick Manusos, chief executive officer of Kenai Therapeutics. “Their guidance will be invaluable as we soon advance our lead candidate, RNDP-001, into the clinic for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.”

RNDP-001 is an iPSC-derived, allogeneic dopamine progenitor cell therapy for the treatment of both idiopathic and inherited forms of Parkinson’s disease, and has displayed robust survival, innervation, and behavioral rescue in preclinical models of Parkinson’s disease. Proceeds from the financing will enable the Company to submit an IND for RNDP-001 and complete Phase 1 clinical trials, which will initiate within the year.

Kenai Therapeutics

“Kenai’s proprietary platform leverages an emerging approach to treating central nervous system disorders by replacing neurons lost due to neurodegeneration,” said Jeff Jonas, M.D., chair and board member of Kenai Therapeutics and partner at Cure Ventures. “The potentially curative nature of RNDP-001 for Parkinson’s disease could dramatically alter outcomes for patients with very few treatment options.”

Beyond RNDP-001, Kenai is developing a robust pipeline of advanced off-the-shelf dopamine neuron replacement cell therapeutics for neurological disorders. The Company will continue to work with its contract manufacturing partner, FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, a leading expert in iPSC technology and research, for manufacturing and development services.

“As a global leader in the field of iPSCs, we are thrilled to support the Kenai Therapeutics team to achieve progress in this promising area of science for patients with neurodegenerative diseases,” said Tomoyuki Hasegawa, president and chief executive officer at FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc.

“Kenai’s approach to treating Parkinson’s disease is meaningfully differentiated from competing cell therapy approaches and has disease-modifying potential for patients with limited, primarily symptomatic, treatment options,” said Jeff Goater, partner at The Column Group. “We are proud to be able to support Kenai in its mission to advance RNDP-001 to help families and patients suffering with this devastating disease.”

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