Biotech Consortium Launches KPI Therapeutics, Inc., a New Collaborative Initiative to Speed Drug Development and Improve Investor Outcomes

SEATTLE, Jun 05, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Five biotech firms and private investors have announced the launch of KPI Therapeutics, Inc. with the aim of speeding advancement of novel, promising drug candidates that can improve the quality of patients' lives. KPI is launching with an array of international research team partners, including MPI Research, Chimera Biotec, Life Chemicals Inc., Medical Marketing Economics (MME) Inc. and Kineta Inc., all experienced in translational drug development. KPI has also attracted private equity investors whose funds are being used to kick-start the KPI development model.

KPI is focused on accelerating translational stage drug programs to fill unmet patient needs. KPI's partners and investors will supply funding and expertise in a collaboration focused on making the early clinical drug validation process more efficient and successful. KPI's unique business model is designed not only to speed drug development but also to improve investor outcomes over traditional industry models. In the first stage of the business plan, KPI will focus on the most advanced projects within Kineta Inc.'s current drug pipeline. In the future, KPI intends to identify and advance novel programs from other industry sources.

"Despite recent advances in scientific knowledge and reports of promising new medicines from early stage discovery, we have not seen a concurrent surge in innovative therapies for patients reaching the market," said Charles Magness, President and CEO of Kineta and KPI Board Chairman. "KPI is designed to bring the capabilities of world-class drug development players and investors into a collaborative alignment where all patients, partners, and investors can benefit."

Dr. Volodymyr Fetyukhin, President of Life Chemicals, cited the reduction of research and development at large pharmaceutical companies as a compelling opportunity for new drug development models like KPI. "With the growing urgency for more effective medicine, there is no better time to maximize the efforts of committed partners to identify, develop, and keep developing a pipeline of commercially attractive, diversified early stage products for new therapies," said Dr. Fetyukhin. "We are sure that our experience in medicinal and synthetic chemistry will contribute to the overall success of this partnership, and I am very excited about seeing compounds we have synthesized in action."

Paul Sylvester, CFO of MPI Research, Inc., a global contract research organization, and KPI Board member stated, "We have enjoyed our existing partnership with Kineta and look forward to this new, expanded relationship, particularly because MPI Research is committed to supporting initiatives that build time and cost reductions into the drug development process."

The lead drug in KPI's investment portfolio, ShK-186, is a novel, immune-sparing therapeutic, which recently completed a Phase 1B trial. Additional proof of concept trials in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and psoriasis are planned in 2014. ShK-186 has shown preclinical activity in other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and asthma. KPI's current investment portfolio also includes novel compounds for antiviral and non-narcotic pain therapies. KPI partners have already contributed to development of the pipeline.

Beena Punnamoottil, CEO of Chimera Biotec, added, "Chimera Biotec's research team combines inter-disciplinary specialists of chemists and biologists to focus on ultra-sensitive immunoassays for clinical bioanalysis support. Together with Kineta, Chimera Biotec has enabled the progress of a novel extremely potent class of drugs and as part of the KPI alliance we are committed to support these therapies to reach the market."

MME Partner Kevin Patterson stated, "We have the privilege to work with many early-stage companies and their therapies. We are excited about our relationship with KPI and look forward to assisting in maximizing the value of their lead asset as well as their entire platform of therapies."

About KPI Therapeutics, Inc.

KPI Therapeutics is a development and funding consortium aimed at moving a diversified portfolio of novel drug programs into the clinic so they can be partnered for new medicines. KPI's objective is to become a self-sustaining company with a robust pipeline of therapeutics through revenue from portfolio investments.

About Chimera Biotec

Chimera Biotec GmbH is a technology provider and specialty CRO offering ligand-binding assay development and sample analysis based on the Imperacer® (Immuno-PCR) technology. Imperacer® combines the unmet specificity of ELISA-type ligand-binding assay technology with the most sensitive detection system known in molecular biology: a real-time PCR read-out. Chimera Biotec provides Imperacer® assay setup and method development and validation services as well as downstream bioanalytical sample testing support to meet most challenging demands in immunoanalytics.

Chimera Biotec is privately held and based in Germany. For more details about Chimera Biotec, visit .

About Life Chemicals

Established in 1995 and headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Life Chemicals Inc. is a chemical contract research organization focused on delivery of innovative products and services for early stage small molecule drug discovery. The company offers a unique, diverse set of 400,000 organic compounds synthesized in-house, along with a broad range of medicinal and computational chemistry services, including hit-to-lead and lead optimization, as well as design and synthesis of targeted libraries for various target classes. With almost 20 years of successful business history, more than 1,000 customers worldwide, and subsidiaries in USA, Germany, and Ukraine, Life Chemicals Inc. is one of the internationally recognized CROs providing high quality services for life science industries.

About MPI Research

MPI Research, with global headquarters in Mattawan, Michigan, provides efficacy and safety evaluation, bioanalytical and analytical testing, and early clinical services and solutions to the biopharmaceutical, medical device, animal health, and chemical industries. Scientific knowledge and experience, responsiveness, integrity, trust, teamwork, and dedication to strong and enduring sponsor relationships are the defining attributes that characterize MPI Research as a high-performance, high-quality organization that is committed to bringing safer, better products to the world. Learn more about how we can exceed your expectations at .

About MME

Medical Marketing Economics (MME) is an industry leader in developing value driven pricing, reimbursement and market access strategies for biopharmaceutical clients worldwide. MME was established in 2001 and has over 35 professionals located in Oxford, MS; Montclair, NJ; Milan and the UK. MME's client base includes large and emerging bio/pharmaceuticals firms and has conducted hundreds of pricing assignments in over 50 countries. For more information on MME visit our Web site, .

About Kineta

Kineta, Inc. is a Seattle-based, privately held biotechnology company specializing in clinical advancement of novel drug candidates derived from leading-edge scientific research. Our world-class scientists are pioneers in developing life-changing classes of new drugs designed to be more effective and safer than current medicines. Kineta seeks to improve the lives of millions of people suffering from autoimmune and viral diseases and from severe pain. Our progressive business model focuses on targeting unmet medical needs and rapid achievement of important clinical milestones. For more information on Kineta, Inc. visit our Web site, .

NOTICE: This document contains certain forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding Kineta's plans for drug development, investor liquidity, and potential investor returns. You are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties inherent in Kineta's business which could significantly affect expected results, including without limitation progress of drug development, identification of valuable drug assets, access to capital markets, clinical testing and regulatory approval, ability to advance partnering relationships, manufacturing challenges, and legislative, fiscal, and other regulatory measures. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Kineta undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.

SOURCE: KPI Therapeutics, Inc.