Kymera Therapeutics LLC, a US biotechnology company, announced a $30M Series A Financing round to advance a transformational new therapeutic modality and discover breakthrough medicines for patients with previously untreatable diseases.
The company is pioneering a novel targeted protein degradation platform and approach to accelerate drug discovery and development, and deliver on its mission.
The company also announced the appointment of Laurent Audoly, Ph.D., as president and CEO. Dr. Audoly has led pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D organizations in the US and EU for more than 20 years, advancing the discovery and development of novel medicines at Pierre Fabre, Pfizer, Merck, MedImmune and Pieris. He joins Kymera from Pierre Fabre, an EU-based pharmaceutical company, where he was head of R&D, championing multiple partnerships on numerous assets and technologies, advancing its pipeline and reorganizing its business model.
“Kymera is a transformational biotechnology company focused on advancing the new therapeutic modality of targeted protein degradation, a technology that has the potential to tremendously expand our ability to treat diseases,” said Bruce Booth, D. Phil., co-founder and chairman of Kymera Therapeutics and partner at Atlas Venture. “With Laurent’s leadership and the backing of a strong team of co-founders, scientists and investors, the organization is well positioned to not only advance its programs, but the entire field of protein degradation.”
Kymera’s novel approach leverages the body’s innate protein degradation and recycling machinery, the ubiquitin-proteasome system, to knock down disease-causing proteins, regardless of their function. This pharmacological effect is distinct from conventional small molecule therapeutics that are largely limited to inhibition of functional catalysis. Using a small molecule-mediated knockdown strategy, Kymera is developing heterobifunctional molecules that catalytically recruit specific proteins to E3 ubiquitin ligases, resulting in the targeted protein’s ubiquitination and subsequent irreversible degradation.
The company’s proprietary integrated degradation platform consists of informatics-driven target identification, novel E3 ligases and ligands, proprietary predictive modeling, and novel degradation tools.
“Kymera’s differentiated drug discovery platform was designed to further advance current targeted protein degradation approaches by enabling the identification of specific target protein and E3 ligase pairs,” said Nello Mainolfi, Ph.D., co-founder and chief technology officer, Kymera Therapeutics. “This efficient approach allows us to identify and pursue the most tractable targets with the greatest potential benefit to patients, and to efficiently resource and accelerate programs toward the clinic.”
Kymera is currently pursuing a focused number of programs in oncology, immuno-oncology, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and expects to engage in strategic partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies in these and other therapeutic areas. The company plans to nominate its first development candidate next year.