Keros Therapeutics, Inc. (KROS)
First Day Turnover17.73%
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel treatments for patients suffering from hematological and musculoskeletal disorders with high unmet medical need. We are a leader in understanding the role of the Transforming Growth Factor-Beta, or TGF-ß, family of proteins, which are master regulators of red blood cell and platelet production as well as of the growth, repair and maintenance of muscle and bone. We have leveraged this understanding and developed a discovery approach to generate large and small molecules to address diseases of these tissues.
Targeting TGF-ß signaling pathways has been clinically proven to elicit robust changes in blood cells, muscle and bone, which we believe provides a precedent and strong rationale for our strategy. Our lead protein therapeutic product candidate, KER-050, is being developed for the treatment of low blood cell counts, or cytopenias, including anemia and thrombocytopenia, in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS, and in patients with myelofibrosis. We have observed positive topline results in a Phase 1 clinical trial of KER-050, and we plan to initiate two Phase 2 clinical trials, one in patients with MDS and one in patients with myelofibrosis.
Our lead small molecule product candidate, KER-047, is being developed for the treatment of anemia resulting from elevated levels of hepcidin, the key regulator of iron absorption and recycling, as well as for the treatment of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or FOP, a rare musculoskeletal disorder, and is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial.
Our third product candidate, KER-012, is being developed for the treatment of disorders associated with bone loss, such as osteoporosis and osteogenesis imperfecta, and for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, or PAH. We plan to progress KER-012 into a Phase 1 clinical trial in the second half of 2021. We believe these product candidates offer substantial opportunities for us to expand our development programs into related hematological and musculoskeletal disorders with high unmet medical need.
KER-050 is an engineered ligand trap comprised of a modified ligand-binding domain of the TGF-ß receptor known as activin receptor type IIA, or ActRIIA, that is fused to the portion of the human antibody known as the Fc domain. KER-050 is designed to increase red blood cell and platelet production by inhibiting the signaling of a subset of the TGF-ß family of proteins to promote hematopoiesis. We believe KER-050 has the potential to provide benefit to patients suffering from red blood cell and platelet differentiation and maturation defects occurring across the spectrum from early through terminal stages of hematopoiesis, and consequently may be effective for many patients that have limited treatment options or are refractory to available therapies. We recently completed a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of KER-050 in healthy post-menopausal women.
Data from the single ascending dose portion of this trial demonstrated rapid and sustained increases in red blood cells and hemoglobin through Day 84 at the highest dose evaluated, increases in circulating immature red blood cells, or reticulocytes, through Day 29 at the higher doses, increases in platelets of 30 x 109 cells/L or greater (a change that we believe would be considered clinically meaningful in patients with low platelet counts) at the highest dose evaluated, as well as favorable tolerability. We plan to commence a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with MDS evaluating KER-050 for the treatment of cytopenias, including anemia and thrombocytopenia, in the first half of 2020. We also plan to commence a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating KER-050 for the treatment of patients with myelofibrosis-associated cytopenias in 2021.
KER-047 is designed to selectively and potently inhibit activin receptor-like kinase-2, or ALK2, a TGF-ß receptor. We believe that KER-047 has the potential to ameliorate excessive ALK2 signaling, which is directly implicated in genetically-defined anemias and musculoskeletal disorders where the transformation of soft tissue into bone, referred to as heterotopic ossification, leads to devastating immobility. We are developing KER-047 for the treatment of anemia resulting from high hepcidin levels as a direct consequence of elevated ALK2 signaling, including our initial target, iron-refractory iron deficiency anemia, or IRIDA.
We are also developing KER-047 as a treatment for FOP, a rare genetic disease resulting from mutations in the ALK2 receptor that results in gain-of-function activity. In these patients, soft tissue, including muscles and tendons, develops normally, but remodels into bone after injury. KER-047 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers. We expect to complete the Phase 1 clinical trial in mid-2020, and to subsequently report data from this trial in the second half of 2020. We expect to commence a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with IRIDA and anemias with elevated hepcidin, including myelofibrosis, in the second half of 2020 and a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with FOP in the second half of 2020.
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