Kinarus Therapeutics Engages Great Health Companion Group to Explore Partnerships in China

Kinarus Therapeutics Holding AG recently announced it has engaged Great Health Companion Group Ltd (GHCG), a subsidiary of Hakim Unique Group, a global conglomerate from China, to explore partnering options to initiate Phase 2 testing of KIN001 to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In addition, Kinarus and GHCG will explore further business opportunities which may include licensing or strategic partnerships.

Dr. Alexander Bausch, CEO of Kinarus Therapeutics Holding AG, said “China has the world’s largest population and second largest economy. The China’s economic growth has increased their ability to invest heavily in innovation technology, infrastructure, and healthcare for their population. Because of their vast aging population, healthcare demands require public and private organizations both domestic and internationally to collaborate to achieve mutual success. Furthermore, Chinese partners have historically shown strong interest in Phase 2 clinical assets with proven potential to address unmet medical needs in China. KIN001 meets these criteria and for this reason, we are pleased to engage GHCG to represent us in China. Kinarus is prepared to launch Phase 2 trials in wAMD and IPF, and is currently conducting a Phase 2 trial of KIN001 in ambulatory Covid-19 patients aiming to reduce severity and duration of symptoms. We look forward to working closely with GHCG as we seek to accelerate the clinical development of KIN001 and to maximize the value and opportunities it represents.”

Kinarus Clinical Programs:

  • KIN001-AMD Phase 2 trial – KIN001 is under development as an oral therapy complementing current anti-VEGF drugs with the goal to extend the treatment interval between ocular injections. Kinarus has received regulatory approval to conduct a phase 2 clinical study in Switzerland and Germany.
  • KIN001-IPF Phase 2 trial – IPF is a devastating disease with high morbidity and mortality and significant unmet need. KIN001 targets multiple underlying mechanisms of disease progression, reducing the irreversible fibrosis and loss of respiratory capacity. Protocol development is completed, and regulatory submissions are expected once the AMD trial has been launched.
  • KINFAST Phase 2 trial in Covid-19 – KIN001 targets several of the underlying mechanisms of acute and long Covid. Recent research has shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus hijacks the p38 MAPK pathway for its replication in infected cells. Kinarus, along with collaborators at the Institute of Virology, Friedrich-Alexander University, Germany, has discovered that KIN001 is active against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern. KIN001 also possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activity. The Phase 2 KINFAST trial is currently actively enrolling patients in Switzerland and Germany. We anticipate interim results in 2023.

KIN001 is a patented combination of two active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs): pamapimod and pioglitazone. Pamapimod is a highly selective clinical stage small molecule inhibitor of the p38 MAP kinase signaling pathway. Kinarus has obtained an exclusive worldwide license from Roche for the development of pamapimod in all therapeutic indications. p38 MAPK inhibitors were broadly considered to have blockbuster potential, with several compounds evaluated through mid-stage clinical trials. Most efforts were abandoned after finding that the initial therapeutic benefit of p38 MAPK inhibition decreased over time due to compensatory mechanisms that blocked its beneficial effects.

Kinarus has discovered a potential way to overcome this limitation. Kinarus has found that combining pamapimod with pioglitazone, a safe and well-tolerated marketed drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, leads to synergistic efficacy and increased duration of action in preclinical models of wAMD, IPF and other autoimmune/inflammation indications. The KIN001 drug combination thereby revives the important therapeutic potential of p38 MAPK inhibition. KIN001 enjoys broad patent protection in the US, EU, China, and other countries through at least 2037, with intellectual property wholly owned by Kinarus.

Kinarus Therapeutics Holding AG was founded in 2017 by experienced pharmaceutical executives in Basel, Switzerland. The Kinarus team utilizes its knowledge and drug development competencies to in-license and develop mid-stage clinical assets in which they have identified an increased probability of clinical and regulatory success and a rapid path to market. Kinarus possesses the exclusive worldwide license to pamapimod covering all indications. For more information, visit