Funding to develop targeted kinase inhibitors for treatment of hematopoietic cancers
Kurome Therapeutics, a preclinical stage company dedicated to developing novel therapies that target adaptive resistance mechanisms in cancer cells while inhibiting critical disease modifying genes, today announced the closing of a $15 million Series A financing.
The round was co-led by Medicxi and Affinity Asset Advisors with participation from founding investor CincyTech, and other existing seed investors.
“We are excited to have the support of exceptional investors. This financing allows us to expand our R&D program to substantially de-risk compound selection as we identify our first development candidate in advance of IND filing,” said Kurome Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer Jan Rosenbaum, PhD.
The funding will support the pre-clinical advancement of dual IRAK1/4 and panFLT3 inhibitors to target cancer cells that evade the effects of both targeted therapy and chemotherapy drugs via adaptive resistance mechanisms, having co-opted IRAK1/4-mediated immune signaling pathways to survive. The biology being currently investigated was discovered by Daniel Starczynowski, PhD, who is Principal investigator and Co-Leader, Hematologic Malignancies Program at Cincinnati Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, and a leading expert in IRAK 1/4 signaling pathways in cancer. Specifically, these treatments are initially focused on improving outcomes in poor prognosis acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients but will look to expand its focus across a range of hematopoietic cancers, including pre-leukemic conditions such as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), as well as certain solid tumors where dysregulated IRAK1/4 signaling and inflammation may play a pathogenic role in tumorigenesis.
“We are excited to be aligned with the leading experts in the IRAK1/4 signaling pathway and are impressed with the level of development and data generated by Kurome to date,” said Daniel Heller, General Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Affinity Asset Advisors.
Launched in 2020, Kurome secured initial seed funding led by CincyTech based on research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).
“In multi-factorial hematological malignancies like AML, we are excited by the early clinical data of combined IRAK4 and FLT3 inhibition in patients. The Kurome team has generated compelling preclinical data that suggests a differentiated approach with potential advantages over others in this emerging space,” said Aaron Kantoff, Venture Partner at Medicxi.
Aaron Kantoff, Venture Partner at Medicxi and Daniel Heller, General Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Affinity Asset Advisors will join the Kurome Therapeutics Board of Directors.