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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kezar Life Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: KZR), a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel small molecule therapeutics to treat unmet needs in autoimmunity and cancer, today announced its third quarter 2019 financial results and corporate highlights.
“I commend our team’s continued execution across our clinical and preclinical programs here at Kezar. Our three Phase 2 trials with KZR-616 in severe autoimmune diseases are progressing on track, and we look forward to disclosing additional data from our MISSION study at the ACR meeting next week”, said John Fowler, Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, the nomination of the first clinical candidate from our protein secretion program is a pivotal step for the company and underscores the depth and breadth of our R&D capabilities. Our small molecule approach to targeting the Sec61 translocon represents a highly compelling new therapeutic approach, and the preclinical data generated with KZR-261 gives us confidence that it may prove effective in treating a variety of tumor types. We are excited to share more about this highly novel target and illustrate the broad platform potential of this approach.”
Recent Clinical and Business Highlights
KZR-616 – Selective Immunoproteasome Inhibitor
The Phase 1b/2 MISSION study in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with and without nephritis is currently ongoing.
·In August 2019, we announced the initiation of the PRESIDIO study (NCT04033926), a Phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, multicenter study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, efficacy, PK and PD of treatment with KZR-616 in patients with active dermatomyositis (DM) or polymyositis (PM). This trial is expected to enroll 24 patients with either DM or PM.
·In August 2019, we announced the initiation of the MARINA study (NCT04039477), a Phase 2 randomized, dose-blind, multicenter study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of KZR-616 in the treatment of patients with autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). This trial is expected to enroll 40 patients with either AIHA or ITP.
KZR-261 – Protein Secretion Program
SITC: November 6-10, 2019, National Harbor, MD
ASH: December 7-10, 2019, Orlando, FL
KZR-616 is a novel, first-in-class, selective immunoproteasome inhibitor with broad therapeutic potential across multiple autoimmune diseases. Preclinical research demonstrates that selective immunoproteasome inhibition results in a broad anti-inflammatory response in animal models of several autoimmune diseases, while avoiding immunosuppression. Phase 1a clinical trial results in healthy volunteers provide evidence that KZR-616 potentially avoids adverse effects caused by currently marketed non-selective proteasome inhibitors, which we believe prevent them from being utilized as a chronic treatment in autoimmune disorders. Phase 2 trials are underway for the treatment of lupus nephritis (MISSION study), dermatomyositis and polymyositis (PRESIDIO study), and autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immune thrombocytopenia (MARINA study).
KZR-261, a novel, first-in-class protein secretion inhibitor, is the first clinical candidate to be nominated from our research and discovery efforts targeting protein secretion pathways as potential therapies for oncology, immuno-oncology and autoimmune indications. KZR-261 is a broad-spectrum anti-tumor agent that acts through direct interaction and inhibition of Sec61 activity. The compound was discovered at Kezar through a medicinal chemistry campaign in which several scaffolds were progressed through the company’s proprietary work flow of Sec61 modulation. As a result, Kezar has established a unique and broad library of protein secretion inhibitors and a strong patent position around KZR-261 and its analogs. KZR-261 has demonstrated several encouraging features that lend to its potential to be a new anti-cancer agent for the treatment of solid and hematologic malignancies. IND-enabling studies are currently underway, and an IND filing in solid tumors is expected in Q1 2021.
About Kezar Life Sciences
Based in South San Francisco, Kezar Life Sciences is a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to revolutionizing treatments for patients with autoimmune diseases and cancer. Kezar is translating its innovative research on the immunoproteasome and protein secretion pathways to advance novel therapeutic approaches. KZR-616, a first-in-class selective immunoproteasome inhibitor, is being evaluated in severe and underserved autoimmune diseases. Additionally, Kezar has nominated KZR-261 as its first clinical candidate for the treatment of cancer from its protein secretion program and will now enter into IND-enabling studies for the program. For more information, visit www.kezarlifesciences.com.
Cautionary Note on Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “believe” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Kezar’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties that could cause Kezar’s clinical development programs, future results or performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the design, progress, timing, scope and results of clinical trials, the anticipated timing of disclosure of results of clinical trials, the likelihood data will support future development, the association of data with treatment outcomes, the likelihood of obtaining regulatory approval of Kezar’s product candidates, and the discovery and development of new product candidates. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results, including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during preclinical or clinical studies, clinical trial site activation or enrollment rates that are lower than expected, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, the uncertainties and timing of the regulatory approval process, and unexpected litigation or other disputes. Other factors that may cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements in this press release are discussed in Kezar’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the “Risk Factors” contained therein. Except as required by law, Kezar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.
SVP, Strategy & External Affairs
|KEZAR LIFE SCIENCES, INC.|
|Selected Balance Sheets Data|
|September 30, 2019||December 31, 2018|
|Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities||$||85,243||$||107,432|
|Total current liabilities||5,327||3,337|
|Total stockholders' equity||86,497||108,797|
|KEZAR LIFE SCIENCES, INC.|
|Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations|
|(In thousands except share and per share data)|
|Three Months Ended||Nine Months Ended|
|September 30,||September 30,|
|Research and development||$||7,080||$||4,664||$||19,932||$||13,463|
|General and administrative||2,601||1,600||7,413||4,837|
|Total operating expenses||9,681||6,264||27,345||18,300|
|Loss from operations||(9,681||)||(6,264||)||(27,345||)||(18,300||)|
|Net loss per common share, basic and diluted||($||0.48||)||($||0.30||)||($||1.34||)||($||2.38||)|
|Weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per common share, basic and diluted||19,095,870||18,955,384||19,070,937||7,319,012|