Targeting Validated Drivers of Cancer
Why We Work
We were founded with a mission to inspire hope in those battling cancer — patients, their physicians, and caregivers — by expanding on the promise of targeted therapies. At Kinnate, we concentrate our efforts on addressing known oncogenic drivers for which there are currently no approved targeted drugs. We aim to overcome the limitations associated with existing cancer therapies, including non-responsiveness or the development of acquired and intrinsic resistance.
How We Discover
The Kinnate Discovery Engine is at the core of our research process. It begins by identifying unmet needs among validated oncogenic drivers. Leveraging our deep expertise in medicinal chemistry and structure-based design, we prioritize four factors in our molecule design: high selectivity (to minimize off target activity), optimized pharmaceutical properties (ensuring the drug works well in the body), broad coverage of genetic alterations (addressing different genetic changes in cancer cells), and the ability to overcome resistance or penetrate the brain. To this, we bring a scalable approach that utilizes a tailored ecosystem of partners to enable us to efficiently advance programs.
Our lead drug candidates are investigational exarafenib, which targets cancers with BRAF and NRAS-driven alterations, and KIN-3248, which is designed for cancers with FGFR2 and FGFR3 alterations. We also have two early-stage programs, a potentially brain-penetrant MEK inhibitor and highly-selective cMET inhibitor. These candidates represent our dedication to advancing novel treatments for specific cancer types.
Who we are and how we act is rooted in our core values of being Audacious, Inclusively Ingenious, Decisive and Agile.
Unmet Need in Targeted Cancer Therapeutics
Despite significant progress in precision oncology medicine, many patients with cancer still face an unmet medical need. Approved targeted therapies are lacking for certain patients or have proven ineffective due to resistance.
Only a small percentage (2% to 3%) of advanced or metastatic patients with cancer achieve long-lasting responses with available targeted treatments. Merely 10% of such patients qualify for targeted therapies that require a specific genomic driver. Among these eligible patients, approximately 50% respond positively to the therapy, while the remaining non-responders experience intrinsic resistance and gain no clinical benefit. Even among responders, a majority (conservatively estimated at 50% to 80%) eventually develop acquired resistance, resulting in disease progression despite ongoing targeted therapy.
How We Develop
At Kinnate, we are dedicated to developing compounds that can be used as standalone therapies or in combination with other anti-cancer drugs. We place a priority on pre-specified biomarkers to drive our development strategy and utilize translational research capabilities to gain insights into responsive subsets and resistance mechanisms. We strive to have a wide-reaching impact, reaching as many patients as possible, both within the United States and through global expansion, with an initial emphasis on countries such as China.