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Kinnate Biopharma Raises $35M to Establish Chinese Joint Venture

NEW YORK – Kinnate Biopharma on Friday announced the closing of a $35 million Series A financing round that it will use to establish a joint venture to develop and commercialize its treatments against genomically defined cancers across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

California-headquartered Kinnate established the JV with OrbiMed Asia Partners, OrbiMed Private Investments, and Foresite Capital. The unnamed JV will be located in Shanghai.

Development efforts at the JV will initially focus on Kinnate's RAF inhibitor, KIN-2787, for the Greater China market. KIN-2787 is being developed as a treatment for lung cancer, melanoma, and other solid tumors with BRAF mutations. The JV will also advance Kinnate's FGFR inhibitor, KIN-3248, as a treatment for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and urothelial carcinoma with FGFR2/3 alterations in China.

The JV has exclusive rights to develop a third, undisclosed Kinnate product candidate. It can also obtain a license to develop other Kinnate products in China, as well as develop products from third-party companies.

"Establishing operations in China creates a tremendous opportunity for Kinnate to build its global footprint and further advance our mission of expanding access to innovative targeted therapies for people battling cancer," Kinnate CEO Nima Farzan said in a statement.

Biotech industry veteran Wenn Sun will serve as the JV's executive chair. Previously, Sun was the founder and president of Precision Medicine Asia and led another venture company, OxOnc Development, which worked with Pfizer to develop the ALK inhibitor crizotinib (Xalkori) in Asia.

Kinnate emerged from stealth mode last summer, and in August raised $98 million to support moving its two lead candidates, KIN-2787 and KIN-3248, into clinical trials this year.