LEXINGTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / March 4, 2020 / Keros Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel treatments for patients suffering from hematologic and musculoskeletal disorders with high unmet medical need, today announced the close of its $56 million Series C financing, bringing its total venture funding to $78.5 million to date. The Series C financing was led by new investors Foresite Capital, OrbiMed, Cowen Healthcare Investments and Venrock. Certain of Keros’ existing investors also participated including Pontifax, Arkin Bio Ventures, Partners Innovation Fund, Global Health Sciences Fund and Medison Pharma.
As part of the Series C financing, Nima Farzan, MBA, an experienced biopharmaceutical executive, and Carl Gordon, Ph.D., CFA, Managing Partner at OrbiMed, will be joining the Board of Directors of Keros.
Proceeds from this financing will be used to advance Keros’s pipeline of product candidates through multiple clinical data readouts. KER-050, our lead clinical-stage protein therapeutic product candidate, is currently being developed to correct cytopenias, including anemia and thrombocytopenia, in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS, and in patients with myelofibrosis. KER-047, our lead clinical-stage small molecule product candidate, is being developed for treatment of anemias resulting from high hepcidin levels and for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or FOP, a rare genetic disease where muscle and connective tissues gradually become replaced by bone.
“The Keros team has a deep understanding of the biology relevant to the role of members of the TGF-ß family of proteins in the development of blood cells, muscle and bone, and we have leveraged that knowledge to advance two product candidates through Phase 1 clinical trials,” said Jasbir S. Seehra, Ph.D., President and CEO of Keros. “This additional funding will allow us to rapidly advance our lead programs through Phase 2 clinical trials to provide proof-of-concept for novel treatments that could potentially address the limitations of current therapeutic approaches in diseases linked to the dysfunction of TGF-ß signaling pathways.”
“We are excited to lead this important financing to advance Keros’s lead programs through Phase 2 proof-of-concept studies. We believe Jas and his team are world leaders in the field TGF-ß biology,” said Jim Tananbaum, CEO and Managing Director of Foresite Capital.
“We are thrilled to welcome these highly respected investors and look forward to working with our newest Board members”, said Ran Nussbaum, Managing Partner of Pontifax and Chairman of the Keros Board of Directors. “With this financing, Keros is in a strong position to advance its technology centered on the role of members of the TGF-ß family of proteins and bring new treatments to patients suffering from hematologic and musculoskeletal disorders.”
Our Biological Focus
Keros focuses on the role of members of the TGF-ß family of proteins in the development of blood cells, muscle and bone. Aged and damaged cells are routinely replaced by new cells in normally functioning organs. These new cells are derived from stem cells that have the ability to differentiate into cells with specialized function when appropriate signals are provided to maintain the homeostatic state of the tissue. Members of the TGF-ß family of proteins, including activins and bone morphogenetic proteins, provide the necessary signals for this process of self-renewal and repair.
Our lead, clinical-stage protein therapeutic product candidate, 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 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, and is being developed for the treatment of low blood cell counts, or cytopenias, including anemia and thrombocytopenia, in patients with MDS, and in patients with myelofibrosis.
Our lead, clinical-stage small molecule product candidate, 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, and Keros is 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.
About Keros Therapeutics
Keros is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel treatments for patients suffering from hematologic and musculoskeletal disorders with high unmet medical need. We are a leader in understanding the role of the Transforming Growth Factor-Beta family of proteins that is a master regulator of red blood cell and platelet production as well as the growth, repair and maintenance of muscle and bone. Our lead protein therapeutic product candidate, KER-050, is being developed for the treatment of cytopenias, including anemia and thrombocytopenia, in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome and 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. For more information on Keros Therapeutics, visit www.kerostx.com
Keros Therapeutics Investor Contacts:
646 378 2936
SOURCE: Keros Therapeutics