The α9α10 nAChR drug target is expressed primarily in the peripheral nervous system and some immune cell subsets, but not the central nervous system where opioids, gabapentinoids and other marketed pain therapies are active. Preclinical data suggest that α9α10 nAChR is a critical mediator of peripheral nerve injury-induced inflammation and pain. Blocking the α 9α10 nAChR at the site of injury in the peripheral nervous system will potentially inhibit the complex interaction between damaged nerves and the immune system providing pain relief, reducing neuroinflammation and protecting of the nerves from further damage. With target expression taking place in the peripheral nervous system, therapeutics blocking α9α10 nAChR have not demonstrated issues of effect tolerance, addiction, and unintentional overdose as seen with drugs that work in the central nervous system like opioids.
The opioid overdose epidemic has become a public health crisis in the United States. Over 840,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose.1 While synthetic opioids like fentanyl have become the main driver of drug overdose deaths, nearly 247,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids between 1999-2019.2
An estimated 50 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain.3 Current therapies offer limited efficacy, unfavorable side effects and the potential of addiction and overdose. There remains a tremendous unmet need for patients with chronic pain.
The global neuropathic pain market totaled $10.8 billion in 2020 and is forecast to grow to $25.2 billion by 2027.4 KCP506 may potentially be an effective treatment for many types of neuropathic pain including radiculopathy (lower back pain associated with pinched nerves), chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and diabetic neuropathy. There is a tremendous unmet need for the approximately 560,000 patients who are diagnosed with chronic neuropathic pain in the United States.5 This represents a significant commercial opportunity for KCP506.
Kineta initially established a strategic partnership in April 2018 with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. The research collaboration is focused on developing first in class α9/α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChr) antagonists for the treatment of chronic pain. In November 2019, Kineta and Genentech extended our research collaboration to advance KCP506 through Phase 1 clinical studies.
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