NEW YORK – K36 Therapeutics on Wednesday said it raised $70 million in a Series B financing round to support an ongoing Phase I trial of its multiple myeloma SET (MMSET) inhibitor KTX-1001.
The funding round was led by Nextech Invest and included Bristol Myers Squibb, Atlas Venture, F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, and other undisclosed investors.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based K36 will use the funds to advance a Phase I trial, in which it is assessing the activity of KTX-1001 in multiple myeloma patients in two parts. In part A of the trial, patients receiving KTX-1001 will be monitored for dose-limiting toxicities for 28 days to determine a maximum tolerated dose, a recommended Phase II dose, and a therapy schedule. In part B, patients who test positive for t(4;14) translocations by fluorescence in situ hybridization testing or have a MMSET gain-of-function mutation by a sequencing test will receive KTX-1001 for 28 days at the recommended Phase II dose to determine safety and tolerability and to assess preliminary signs of efficacy. Trial endpoints include objective response rate, duration of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival.
"We are committed to developing KTX-1001 for t(4;14) multiple myeloma patients, a large patient population with chronic disease who are relatively unresponsive to existing and emerging therapeutics," K36 CEO Terry Connolly said in a statement.
The histone lysine methyltransferase MMSET is overexpressed in multiple myeloma patients with t(4;14) translocations, which occur in around 20 percent of cases. Inhibition of MMSET prevents demethylation of histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36), shutting down the expression of genes driving the cancer.
"This financing comes at a key time for K36 as we look forward to establishing KTX-1001 clinical proof-of-concept in multiple dosing regimens and demonstrating the expanded opportunity for KTX-1001 in additional hematologic and solid tumor malignancies," Connolly said. In conjunction with the financing, Nextech partner Melissa McCracken will join K36's board of directors.