RARE Daily

Kira Launches to Pioneer Therapies for Complement-Mediated Diseases

November 12, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Kira Pharmaceuticals said it raised $46 million to develop a new generation of complement-targeted therapies to treat immune-mediated diseases.

Kira is backed by a syndicate of global life science venture firms including Quan Capital, 6 Dimensions Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, and Sinopharm Capital. It is using the funding to advance a pipeline of novel therapies designed to achieve better, and longer lasting immune modulation, and named Frederick Beddingfield as its CEO.

“Kira’s founding team has developed an intelligent drug discovery platform driving the development of novel compounds with the ability to overcome the challenges of complement drug discovery and modulate the complement system in new and thoughtful ways,” said Beddingfield, CEO, Kira Pharmaceuticals.

With a therapeutic focus on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and oncology, Kira has plans to advance three complement-targeted therapies to the clinic over the next 18 months. The complement system is a key driver and amplifier of inflammation and tissue damage in many human diseases but is complex and historically difficult to target.

Kira’s most advanced program, P014, is a first-in-class biologic drug with a unique mechanism of action designed to inhibit both upstream and downstream complement targets. By regulating two separate rate-limiting steps in the complement activation cascade that are critical for disease development, P014 provides a powerful, and potentially safer approach to complement inhibition. P014 has also been engineered with an extended half-life and potency, with the opportunity for self-administration at home.

Beddingfield joins Kira with nearly 20 years of biopharma experience. He was founder and CEO of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, a company developing topical and systemic therapies for inflammatory and immune-mediated skin diseases. Prior to Sienna, he served as Chief Medical Officer at both Kythera and Allergan Medical. He is board certified in dermatology, Mohs micrographic surgery, cutaneous oncology and emergency medicine. He is also an associate clinical professor at UCLA. Beddingfield received his M.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Ph.D. from Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Photo: Frederick Beddingfield, CEO of Kira Pharmaceuticals

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