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Kyverna Therapeutics, Autoimmune Disease CAR T-Cell Therapy Developer, Files to Go Public

NEW YORK – Kyverna Therapeutics has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) and applied to list its common stock on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "KYTX," according to a form filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The Emeryville, California-based biopharma firm, founded in 2018, is developing cell therapies for autoimmune diseases. It did not disclose in its preliminary prospectus the number of shares it plans to offer or an estimated price range for the shares.

"Our goal is to bring disease-modifying therapeutic benefits to patients suffering from autoimmune diseases," the company said in the filing. "We believe the success of cell therapies such as CAR T-cell therapies in oncology have paved the way for the application of cell therapies in other therapeutic areas."

Kyverna does not have any products approved for commercial sale.

Kyverna's lead product candidate, KYV-101, is being studied in multiple rheumatology and neurology indications, including refractory lupus nephritis, scleroderma, and multiple sclerosis. KYV-101 is an autologous cell therapy that's designed to modify T cells to recognize and deplete overactive B cells in a patient's body. It aims to modify a patient's own immune T cells to target CD19, a protein expressed on the surface of B cells — cells that produce antibodies that are critical for the immune system. However, in some autoimmune diseases, B cells become overactive and inappropriately attack other tissues.

Kyverna is also developing an allogeneic treatment containing that same CAR, dubbed KYV-201, in partnership with gene-editing company Intellia Therapeutics.

The company's other research-stage programs focus on candidates to treat autoimmune diseases with approaches beyond the CD19 CAR-T strategy.

Since its founding, Kyverna has raised about $170 million, most recently in an oversubscribed Series B funding round of $145 million.

As of Sept. 30, 2023, the firm held roughly $77.3 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, according to its SEC filing.