Georgetown Univ, KYAN Therapeutics to Drive AI-based Cancer Research

KYAN Therapeutics, Inc. (“KYAN”), a frontier biotech company with a novel drug-dose combination optimizing platform, Optim.AI, has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Georgetown University for novel selective Class II HDAC inhibitors. KYAN has already commenced preclinical development of the lead candidate, which has been designated as KYAN-001, with early positive results.

In vitro and in vivo studies of KYAN-001 have shown high efficacy for Multiple Myeloma and Prostate Cancer. The low toxicity and metabolic stability of KYAN-001 indicates a better safety and tolerability profile than FDA approved pan-HDAC inhibitors which suffer from toxicity issues and side effects. KYAN-001 also uniquely inhibits HDAC4 nucleoshuttling to further drive its anti-cancer effects.

“We’re very excited to proceed with KYAN-001 because of its promising features and we are confident that we can identify optimal combination therapies across multiple cancer indications with Optim.AI,” said Lisa Chow, COO and General Counsel of KYAN.

Masturah Rashid, Ph.D., Principal Scientist at KYAN, added: “It is scientifically recognized that epigenetic drugs, including HDACis, have significant cancer therapy potential but are limited in effectiveness as monotherapies. Utilizing Optim.AI, we have already pinpointed KYAN-001-based 2-drug or 3-drug combinations that outperform relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma standard of care therapies in in vitro efficacy. We also plan to interrogate combinations with drugs that are approved for other indications to identify even more optimal combinations that are nonobvious when relying on scientific rationale.”

Lisa Chow further stated: “The beauty of applying Optim.AI to the development of KYAN-001 is that we will be able to cut costs and development time while also tackling unmet needs. Many programs are focused on biomarker discovery or subgrouping, which while important, tend to reduce the potential market size and leave many patients unaddressed. Optim.AI’s unique suite of proprietary analytics allows us to efficiently and accurately evaluate a vast number of combinations, an endeavor that would be prohibitively expensive and labor intensive via other methods. Therefore, we can find effective therapies for broader populations.”

KYAN plans to explore at least four cancer indications for KYAN-001 and anticipates advancing KYAN-001 through to Phase I clinical trials by 2022.

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