- A deal between Kineta Inc. and Roche AG's Genentech announced Monday has the big pharma signing up to an option and license agreement for Kineta’s alpha9/alpha10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonists for chronic neuropathic pain. The project is at the preclinical stage.
- Kineta will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and potential development and commercialization milestone payments up to $359 million. Following commercialization of any products from the deal, Kineta could also receive high single to low double-digit royalties.
- "We hope that, aside from inducing analgesia, our candidates could reduce inflammation and diminish neurodegeneration in nerve injury, which would be an important differentiator," Kineta's CEO told BioPharma Dive.
The global neuropathic pain market could be worth $5.7 billion by 2024, according to Transparency Market Research.
Options to treat neuropathic pain are limited, and include tricyclic antidepressants, and epilepsy drugs. Opioids are also used, but their abuse potential is high and their efficacy over the long term is limited.
"We see the non-opioid approach as critical, as there are very few alternatives for long-term pain," Kineta CEO Shawn Iadonato said in an interview.
It's the first big pharma deal for the 10-year old Kineta, which they clearly see as a major step.
"An agreement with Genentech, which is part of the Roche group and is very science-driven, is an important validation for our approach," said Iadonato.
Kineta has a number of products in its pipeline through its subsidiaries and linked companies. Kv1.3 Therapeutics is developing drugs for rare diseases, including dalatazide, a Phase 2-ready drug for inclusion body myositis and other rare and autoimmune diseases. Kineta-Immuno-Oncology focuses on drug discovery with an aim to activate innate immune activators to turn 'cold' tumors 'hot'. Kineta itself is also working on broad-spectrum antiviral drugs with support from the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust and other organizations.