"At Kira, our mission is urgent. We can't wait because our patients can't wait for life-enhancing and life-saving therapies, so we’re working tirelessly on their behalf."

Wenru Song
President and Head of R&D
The complement system is a complex cascade of proteins and feedback loops
Challenge: The complexity of the complement system

Critical to immunity, but historically difficult to modulate

The complement system consists of a complex series of proteins that exist in the plasma and on cell surfaces and is a critical mechanism of innate immunity responsible for activating an immune or inflammatory response against pathogens, and a known driver and amplifier of disease. In many complement-mediated diseases, this complex system is activated in error causing pervasive tissue damage and triggering systemic inflammation to fuel disease progression. In other diseases, the complement system fails to recognize foreign cells or aids their escape from immune surveillance, preventing the body from mounting an active immune response to fight disease. 

The complement system is a complex cascade of proteins and feedback loops
drug development in complement

Moving from complexity to clarity

Consisting of three central pathways (Classical, Lectin and Alternative) and scores of proteins, the complement system is complex and historically difficult to drug. Different diseases may implicate different activation pathways and effectors, requiring a nuanced understanding of disease pathology and a focused approach to identify and drug points of intervention across the complement cascade to maximize and optimize therapeutic response. 

Scientists have long sought to develop therapies to modulate the complement system, however achieving desirable pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anti-complement drugs is challenging due to target abundance and target-mediated drug disposition, exponential amplification of the activation cascade, and multiple effectors implicated in a disease. Although several anti-complement drugs are now available, due to the complexity of complement biology, there remains a significant unmet need for next-generation anti-complement drugs with better efficacy and convenience.

A nuanced understanding of disease pathology is necessary to effectively identify the best intervention points in the complement cascade

our solution

Our LOGIC approach is designed to overcome complement’s inherent challenges

Our LOGIC approach is designed to overcome complement’s inherent challenges
Kira Pharmaceuticals has designed its LOGIC platform (Lead identification, Optimization and Attribute Generation, In-vivo Confirmation) to overcome the inherent challenges in complement drug discovery and to develop a pipeline of first and potentially best-in-class therapies to improve the lives of patients.

The Kira LOGIC Platform overcomes key challenges of developing complement therapeutics and derisks assets in preclinical stage.

Selecting the best target and indication

The first challenge is that the biology is complex. The complement cascade can amplify extremely quickly. Often drugs that have failed were probably a reasonable target but didn’t have the right PK and PD. Through licensing agreements and/or research collaborations with UPenn and the University of Lubeck, we have access to unparalleled animal models which provide target validation and indication selection.

Best-in-class efficacy and dosing

The next challenge is the high protein load and turnover of some of these complement system proteins. Our state-of-the-art protein design provides superior potency and longer lasting inhibition that allows for better efficacy and dosing.

De-risked going into the clinic

And finally, development of therapies for diseases in this space are often challenged by unreliable translation from pre-clinical work to the clinic. Our use of animal models, including transgenic humanized mouse models, allow for unrivaled PK/PD predictability, which enables us to not only sort through which of our pre-clinical candidates are best to take into the clinic but how they compare to drugs currently in development or on the market.