The proceeds raised 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 works to modulate cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels inside cells. cAMP levels are directly associated with the pathogenesis of CF including mucus accumulation, inflammation, and bronchoconstriction. KIT2014 is being developed as an add-on to the current standard of care. It is enabling improved efficacy by directly focusing on the most significant ailments of CF patients, delivered directly to the lungs as an inhaled therapy. The Company expects to complete pre-clinical studies in 2022 and begin a Phase 1/2A clinical trial of KIT2014 soon thereafter.
The financing round will also enable Kither to begin expanding and diversifying its pipeline of products for the treatment of rare pulmonary diseases by launching the pre-clinical development of KITCL27, a small molecule PI3K inhibitor pro-drug being developed as a monotherapy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The fundraise was co-led by new investors Claris Ventures and 2 Invest, with participation from 3B Future Health Fund and Alef 6.
Reinvesting in the company are the partners of Italian Angels for Growth, who were among the first to believe in the company in 2019, when Kither closed one of the most relevant rounds in Italy. Also reinvesting in Kither are CDP Venture Capital SGR, Ersel, Club degli Investitori and ACE Venture.
Kither additionally announces the appointment of Dr. Vincent Metzler as Chief Executive Officer, while current CEO Marco Kevin Malisani moves to the role of Chief Financial Officer and remains a member of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors will be chaired by Laura Iris Ferro, the first investor in Kither and founder of Gentium, acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion, as well as IAG Champion in this investment, along with Francesco Leone: "The scientific soundness of the founders, combined with the results obtained so far, has prompted more than 80 IAG partners to get involved, investing 2.6 million euros in Kither Biotech since the beginning of the project, reaffirming the fundamental role played by business angels: people who invest, in addition to their capital, their time and commitment".
The added value of business angel networks lies precisely in this: offering entrepreneurs in the Life Sciences world the possibility of being accompanied and guided, in the riskiest phases of this journey, by investors with specific knowledge of the technologies, regulatory procedures and markets in which they are venturing, putting their experience at the disposal of the ecosystem, and also attracting foreign investors to Italy.