Biopharmaceutical Kriya acquires Tramontane Therapeutics, a UAB spin-off
The company will launch a gene therapy programme for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other prevalent diseases
Kriya Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing gene therapies for conditions affecting millions of people around the world, has acquired Tramontane, a UAB spin-off focused on developing treatments for metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
With the transaction, Kriya acquires a portfolio of Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) assets including Tramontane’s lead programme, an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector designed to express a steady level of the native FGF21 protein. FGF21 has beneficial metabolic effects across several target organs including the liver, and has been established as a clinically-validated biological target in NASH. This one-time intramuscular AAV gene therapy designed to express native FGF21 protein is a novel approach to treating NASH with significant potential for a better efficacy, safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile than other products in development.
“We are very impressed with the data associated with the Tramontane FGF21 programme, which has consistently established strong efficacy and durability across multiple validated animal models of obesity and NASH,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Kriya. “The addition of Tramontane’s FGF21 programme strategically aligns with our Metabolic Disease portfolio which also includes a one-time gene therapy candidate for insulin-dependent diabetes.”
Kriya’s FGF21 gene therapy candidate for treating people with NASH may eliminate compliance issues associated with complex medication regimens, since it is a one-time intramuscular AAV administration. It may also support better tissue distribution deliver a setady level of native FGF21 protein. Therefore, it has the potential to deliver years of therapeutic efficacy in the setting of a chronic lifelong disease.
According to Dr Fàtima Bosch, Director of the UAB Centre for Animal Biotechnology and Gene Therapy (CBATEG), Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Advisor of Tramontane Therapeutics and Kriya Scientific Advisory Board Member, “people with NASH are in desperate need of better treatment options and FGF21 is a clinically-validated target for preventing fibrosis in this disease”. She goes on to say that “with the ongoing research that continues in this disease, including innovative approaches like gene therapy, the future outlook for NASH treatments has markedly improved. I believe that a one-time gene therapy would be a quantum leap forward in the management of this chronic disease.”
About Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
NASH is the most severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and affects approximately 5 percent of the world's population. It is a condition in which the liver builds up excessive fat deposits causing inflammation and liver cell damage. NASH can progress to more serious disease stages, such as fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Approximately 20 percent of people with NASH will progress to advanced liver disease including cirrhosis and cancer over several years or decades; in advanced stages of the disease, liver transplant may be the only option. There are currently no FDA-approved therapies for halting or reversing the progression of NASH.
About Kriya Therapeutics
Kriya Therapeutics' mission is to revolutionise medicine, with the ultimate goal of eliminating human suffering and enabling people to live without the burden of disease. Kriya is a biopharmaceutical company developing gene therapies to address diseases affecting millions of people around the world. With operations in Palo Alto, California, and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Kriya has raised over $600 million in committed capital, which will be used to advance a broad pipeline of gene therapies for ophthalmology, neurology and metabolic disease. For more information, please visit www.kriyatx.com.
About Tramontane Therapeutics
Tramontane Therapeutics is a UAB gene therapy spin-off focused on developing treatments for prevalent neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases. Tramontane uses adeno-associated viral vectors to express therapeutic proteins of relevance in the management of multiple diseases, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), Type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease and other central disorders associated with impaired cognition and behaviour.