KIN001 is a novel combination of pamapimod, a highly-selective inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), and a second drug. The p38 MAPKs are central regulators of the cellular response to inflammation, viral infection, and stress signals. The p38 MAPKs also plays roles in diverse biological processes such as cell proliferation, chemotaxis, tissue fibrosis, and vasculogenesis. Kinarus has discovered, through its own research, that combining pamapimod with a second drug improves the efficacy and durability of response, providing a unique and differentiated therapeutic in KIN001.
Kinarus is rapidly advancing its combination therapy to address the urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the start of the pandemic, it appeared that the world was facing a serious respiratory disease. As time goes on, it has clearly become much more complicated. In addition to the lungs, it has become apparent that the heart, liver, kidneys and even the nervous system can be affected. These long-term consequences such as scarring of the lungs and lasting damage to the heart muscle contribute to the syndrome described as 'long Covid'. Even patients who shrugged off the initial infection can be left with long-term impact on the quality of life.
Broadly active drugs that have anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic and antiviral activity are critical for Covid-19 patients in targeting the multiple facets of the disease. The virus causing Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, highjacks the p38 MAPK pathway for replication, so KIN001, by blocking this pathway, and also reducing consequences of the disease, is an attractive strategy. Both drugs comprising the drug combination have been well tolerated in clinical trials and are ready to be rapidly advanced in Covid-19 patients.
The KIN001 combination therapeutic offers additional opportunities. In ophthalmology, an oral drug may complement current anti-VEGF targeted therapies that require frequent clinical visits to receive direct injections into the eye. KIN001, as a tablet, may offer a way for patients to maintain vision while reducing the frequency of injections. In addition, real-world experience has found broad undertreatment leading to continued vision loss in patients. KIN001 may address this need through providing a convenient oral treatment that can be taken at home. KIN001 may also provide a treatment option in countries and regions with poor or no access to anti-VEGF therapies and specialty clinics. KIN001 will be evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical study in patients with wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration to evaluate its potential to reduce the frequency of anti-VEGF injections by contributing to the preservation of vision.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a rare and terminal lung disease. Two drugs have been approved to treat IPF but have shown modest benefit and significant side effects. Kinarus has discovered that KIN001 reduces lung fibrosis in preclinical models both alone and on top of the current therapies. KIN001 will be evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical study in patients with IPF.