Kither Biotech Raises €18.5M Series B and Appoints Dr. Vincent Metzler as Chief Executive Officer

Kither Biotech

Kither Biotech Raises €18.5M Series B and Appoints Dr. Vincent Metzler as Chief Executive Officer

  • Product intended to support the further development of the main active ingredient KIT2014 in cystic fibrosis up to the phase 1/2A clinical trial

  • International syndicate of new investors including Claris Ventures, 2 Invest, 3B Future Health Fund and Alef 6, with continued support from existing investors

  • Appointment of Dr. Metzler as CEO Brings Extensive International Pharmaceutical Experience as Kither Biotech Accelerates Development of its Lead Candidates

Turin, Italy, March 16, 2022 – Kither Biotech (“Kither” or “the Company”)a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for rare respiratory diseases, today announces that it has raised €18.5 million in a Series B funding round and appointed current board member of Directors, Dr. Vincent Metzler, as Chief Executive Officer.

Proceeds will be used to fund the clinical development of Kither’s lead product KIT2014, a novel cell-permeable peptide for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) that acts to modulate levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) within cells. cAMP levels are directly associated with the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis, including mucus accumulation, inflammation, and bronchoconstriction. KIT2014 is currently being developed as an adjunct to the current standard of care to improve efficiency by directly focusing on the most important conditions of CF patients, delivered directly into the lungs as therapy by inhalation. The company plans to complete preclinical studies in 2022 and begin a Phase 1/2A clinical trial of KIT2014 shortly thereafter.

The funding round will also allow Kither to begin expanding and diversifying its product portfolio for the treatment of rare lung diseases by initiating preclinical development of KITCL27, a small molecule PI3K inhibitor prodrug developed as a monotherapy for fibrosis idiopathic lung disease. .

The fundraising was co-led by new investors Claris Ventures and 2 Invest, with participation from 3B Future Health Fund and Alef 6. Existing investors CDP Venture Capital SGR, Italian Angels for Growth, Ersel, Club degli Investitori and ACE Venture also joined in the financing. round. Pietro Puglisi, Partner at Claris Ventures and Heikki Lanckriet, CEO of 4BaseBio will join Kither’s Board of Directors.

Kither also announces today the appointment of Dr. Vincent Metzler as Chief Executive Officer, while current CEO Marco Kevin Malisani moves to Chief Financial Officer and remains a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Metzler has served on Kither’s Board of Directors since June 2020, bringing over 20 years of business operations experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech space. Prior to joining Kither, Dr. Metzler was Vice President, Head of Marketing and Commercial Operations for Europe at immunotherapy company Atara Biotherapeutics, and a member of the management team at Wilson Therapeutics, a Swedish biotechnology company. in the clinical phase.

The board will be chaired by Laura Iris Ferro, early investor in Kither and founder of Gentium, acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion.

Dr. Vincent Metzler, CEO of Kither Biotech, commented: “Kither is committed to developing transformative therapies for patients with rare lung diseases. The fundraising marks a pivotal moment for the company as we advance our first product into the clinic and further expand our product portfolio. We are proud to have the support of this syndicate of high quality investors as we move forward into our next stage of growth.

Pietro Puglisi, Managing Partner at Claris Ventures, and Hansjörg Plaggemars, CEO of 2Invest, said: “We are delighted to support Kither Biotech as it prepares to enter the clinic with its lead candidate KIT2014. This is a very exciting time for the Company, and we welcome the appointment of Dr. Vincent Metzler, a highly experienced executive, as CEO. With its high-quality science, expert management team and strong syndicate of investors, Kither Biotech is uniquely positioned to accelerate the clinical development of its therapies for the benefit of millions of patients affected by rare respiratory diseases.

Heikki Lanckriet, newly appointed non-executive director at Kither Biotech said: “I am delighted to join Kither Biotech’s Board of Directors at such an exciting time. As the team strives to develop innovative therapies for the treatment of vsystic Fibrose and expand its portfolio of treatments for respiratory diseases, I look forward to supporting the Company’s ambitions alongside such a quality syndicate of investors.

Marco Kevin Malisani, Co-Founder, CFO and Executive Director of Kither Biotech, added: This financing round represents a transformative moment for Kither, further strengthening our shareholder base and our management team. As an academic spin-off from the University of Turin and Novara, we have managed to attract many established investors: this is a clear demonstration of our cutting-edge science. I am also pleased to welcome the appointment of Dr.. Vincent Metzler as CEO: His extensive international pharmaceutical experience will be invaluable as we accelerate the development of our promising therapeutic candidates. »


About Kither Biotech

Kither Biotech is a biopharmaceutical company founded by Professor Alessandra Ghigo, Professor Emilio Hirsch, Professor Alberto Bardelli and Marco Kevin Malisani. The company aims to identify and develop new drug candidates for the treatment of rare lung diseases, with a particular focus on cystic fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Kither Biotech is a spin-off from the University of Turin and actively collaborates with the Molecular Biotechnology Center (University of Turin) and other research centers around the world. The company has developed a pipeline of treatments currently in preclinical development, with programs in cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other respiratory diseases. |

About KIT2014

KIT2014 is a cell-permeable cAMP modulator peptide that disrupts the interaction of PI3Kgamma with its partner, protein kinase A (PKA), leading to inhibition of phosphodiesterase type 3 and 4 (PDE3/4) and, to in turn, to enhanced cAMP responses in the cell. KIT2014 is currently being investigated for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) as an adjunct inhalation therapy to the current standard of care, providing improved efficacy by having a direct impact on mucus hypersecretion, inflammation of the respiratory tract and bronchoconstriction, the most important ailments of patients with cystic fibrosis. When inhaled, KIT2014 increases cAMP locally in bronchial epithelial cells to promote the opening of CFTR chloride channels, which are essential for mucus hydration, while in lung smooth muscle and immune cells, elevated cAMP limits bronchoconstriction and neutrophil infiltration. In patients with cystic fibrosis, treatment with KIT2014 is believed to restore the function of CFTR mutants by potentiating the effects of CFTR modulators (Ghigo et al., Science Translational Medicine, in press).

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