Kinarus AG
Ticker: KNRS Exchange: SIX
Kinarus AG is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on bringing novel treatments to patients suffering from viral, respiratory, and ophthalmic diseases. Kinarus’s unique and innovative combinatorial therapeutic candidate has broad potential to transform numerous therapeutic areas.

Receptive environment for KIN001

Three years after the start of the pandemic investors might be forgiven for thinking that new product approvals for drugs to treat COVID-19 have come to an end. Running against this perception is Kinarus’ lead drug – the oral p38 MAP kinase inhibitor combination – which remains in a Phase 2 study for the treatment of COVID patients.

Moreover, German biotech company InflaRx’s anti-inflammatory drug Gohibic (vilobelimab) was recently approved by the US FDA under an emergency use authorization (EUA) to treat COVID-19 in a limited hospitalised patient population undergoing invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The EUA was granted despite Gohibic failing a Phase 3 study. Moreover, the FDA has just approved a new anti-inflammatory drug to treat COVID-19 patients: indicating that the era of pandemic preparedness remains as an attractive environment for new drug developments.

Kinarus is currently conducting the Phase 2 KINFAST study in the less severe and mild to moderate ambulatory COVID-19 patients, but unlike Gohibic which is a monoclonal antibody, Kinaris’ KIN001 is an oral drug with a much easier administration and lower cost of goods. In addition, Kinarus has demonstrated that KIN001 has both anti-inflammatory and preclinical antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2.

Should Kinarus demonstrate efficacy in the KINFAST study, a whole range of discussions would start on a potential EUA for KIN001 in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, where full approval may be contingent on a Phase 3 study, but also raises the profile of KIN001 in another indication – idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Our fair valuation of Kinarus remains at CHF96.0m, or CHF0.09 per share.

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