2022-11-16| M&A

Kriya Scoops Up Redpin to Break into Neurology Gene Therapies

by Reed Slater
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Gene therapy-focused Kriya Therapeutics announced its acquisition of Redpin Therapeutics on Wednesday to add epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia gene therapy candidates to its portfolio. Kriya did not disclose any financial details, but the transaction is another step in the company’s busy year of expansion.

Banking on Redpin’s Proprietary Chemogenics Platform

A major factor in the deal is Redpin’s novel chemogenics platform, which flips traditional drug development on its head. Rather than developing a small molecule to interact with receptors, Redpin is engineering receptors to interact with recognized small molecules. 

As part of the chemogenics program, Redpin uses ion channels, proteins responsible for electrical activity in cells, to stimulate under-active neurons or inhibit over-active ones. The company’s ion channel receptors currently function with the anti-smoking agent varenicline. The company said varenicline is an attractive target for its chemogenics platform because patients tolerate it well in small doses, and the agent has exceptional brain penetration. 

Kriya hopes to leverage the unique platform and continue developing epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia candidates. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes spontaneous seizures, and trigeminal neuralgia is a rare disease causing sudden, sharp facial pain attacks. 

Dr. Elma Hawkins, President, CEO, and Co-founder of Redpin said, “Kriya Therapeutics is the perfect company to take this leading ion channel-based platform forward and deliver an effective treatment option for patients. We look forward to working with the Kriya team to progress these unique targeted therapies to patients in need as rapidly as possible.”

Related Article: Kyverna’s Lupus Nephritis Cell Therapy Received FDA Clearance, Aiming for Phase 1 Trial in 2023

Kriya’s Continued Expansion

The Redpin acquisition is another deal in a busy couple of years for Kriya with partnerships and acquisitions. In addition to collaborations and purchases, Kriya closed a series C financing round this year, bringing its total capital even higher.

In January this year, Kriya acquired Warden Bio and five AAV-mediated gene therapies for glycogen storage disorders. Again, the company did not disclose any financial information but said the acquisition would serve as the foundation for its Rare Disease Division. 

Also, in January, Kriya licensed its gene therapies to the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation for Research Development to develop treatments for geographic atrophy and other ocular diseases. 

The deals and acquisitions complement Kriya’s manufacturing-focused approach. The young company already has a functioning manufacturing facility where it hopes to integrate its own therapies when ready. So far, the company has not released an entire pipeline, but it is increasing based on the acquisitions alone. 

Kriya’s acquisition of Redpin marks another exciting opportunity for gene therapy in the industry. Redpin’s unique chemogenics platform will be exciting to follow with the resources and gene therapy expertise that Kriya can provide. 

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