Gilead backed Kyverna Therapeutics closes $85m Series B financing round
Additional participants in the round included the company’s founding investors Westlake, Vida Ventures, and Gilead Sciences.
The company said proceeds from the financing will be used to advance KYV-101, an autologous version of a clinical-stage anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) construct with properties suited for use in B cell-driven autoimmune diseases: lupus nephritis, systemic sclerosis, and inflammatory myopathies.
Kyverna has obtained exclusive, worldwide licenses from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use this CD19 construct in both autologous and allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies.
KYV-101 is set to move into clinical development in the first half of 2022.
The funds will also be used to support the development of KYV-201, an investigational candidate for the treatment of select B cell-driven autoimmune diseases. KYV-201 combines Kyverna’s CD19 CAR T construct with Intellia Therapeutics’ ex vivo CRISPR/Cas9-based allogeneic platform. The two companies announced a licensing and collaboration deal at the start of the year.
Engineering T cells
The capital will also go towards the continued development of the company’s synReg T-cell platform, engineering a synthetic version of regulatory T cells (Tregs) by reprogramming T cells into CAR Treg cells.
Kyverna has established a strategic collaboration and license agreement with Gilead to develop engineered T-cell therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases based on Kyverna’s synReg T-cell platform and synNotch technology from Kite.
Dominic Borie, CEO of Kyverna, said: “With this investment from this outstanding group of investors, we will advance Kyverna’s strategy to engineer T cells either as CAR T cells or CAR Tregs to address autoimmune disease drivers and provide transformative treatments to patients.”