Kronos Bio Announces Discovery Collaboration with Genentech to Advance Novel Therapies Against Transcriptional Targets in Oncology

Jan 09, 2023 7:02 AM EST

Kronos Bio will receive a $20 million upfront payment and could receive up to an additional $554 million in milestone payments

Agreement will leverage Kronos Bio’s expertise in transcriptional regulatory networks and its proprietary drug discovery platform

SAN MATEO, Calif. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kronos Bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: KRON), a company dedicated to transforming the lives of those affected by cancer, announced today that it has entered into a discovery collaboration in the field of oncology with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, focused on discovering and developing small-molecule drugs that modulate transcription factor targets selected by Genentech.

The partnership will allow Genentech to leverage Kronos Bio’s expertise to identify protein-protein interactions, genetic dependencies and gene expression signatures to better understand and target the oncogenic activity of transcription factors in cancer types of interest. Under the collaboration, researchers at the two companies will collaborate using Kronos Bio’s proprietary drug discovery platform, including the small molecule microarray (SMM) for hit finding, to build upon research conducted to date by Genentech.

“This, our first collaboration, brings together expertise from both companies with the goal of answering fundamental scientific questions about the biology of cancer that we hope will one day lead to the advancement of new clinical candidates,” said Norbert Bischofberger, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Kronos Bio. “We are pleased to be able to leverage our unique platform to collaborate with Genentech to further Kronos Bio’s understanding of transcription-driven oncogenesis and ability to identify novel targets involved.”

Kronos Bio will lead discovery and research activities to a defined preclinical point when Genentech will have the exclusive right to pursue further preclinical and clinical development and commercialization. Under the terms of the agreement, Kronos Bio will receive an upfront payment of $20 million and be eligible for additional payments, which could total up to $554 million, based on reaching certain milestones, including discovery, preclinical, clinical and commercial milestones, as well as tiered royalties on any potential products that are commercialized as a result of the collaboration.

“We are excited about the possibilities that this collaboration with Kronos Bio brings to further our understanding of complex scientific networks with the goal of bringing highly effective medicines to patients,” said James Sabry, Global Head of Roche Pharma Partnering.

About Kronos Bio’s Discovery Engine
Kronos Bio is focused on targeting the activity of oncogenic transcription factors that have a well-defined and central role in driving particular types of cancer. The company leverages its expertise to map transcription regulatory networks, enabling the identification of protein-protein interactions, genetic dependencies and gene expression signatures of specific oncogenic transcription factors in cancers of interest. Utilizing these transcription regulatory network maps, the company relies on a number of tools, including its proprietary Small Molecule Microarray (SMM) to screen for new drug starting points.

About Kronos Bio, Inc.
Kronos Bio is a biopharmaceutical company that is advancing two investigational compounds in clinical trials for patients with cancer. The company is developing the CDK9 inhibitor, KB-0742, as a treatment for MYC-amplified solid tumors, and lanraplenib, a next-generation SYK inhibitor, for patients with relapsed/refractory FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia. The company’s scientific focus is on developing medicines that target the dysregulated transcription that is the hallmark of cancer and other serious diseases.

Kronos Bio is based in San Mateo, Calif., and has a research facility in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit or follow the company on LinkedIn.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release, in some cases, uses terms such as “will,” “could,” “expects,” “goal,” “anticipates” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Kronos Bio’s intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: activities to be performed under the collaboration with Genentech; the goals of the collaboration; potential milestone and other payments Kronos Bio may receive under the collaboration with Genentech; and other statements that are not historical fact. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation: risks inherent in the discovery and clinical development of novel therapeutics; risks related to collaborations with third parties, including third-party performance; Genentech has certain rights to exclusivity under the collaboration, and Kronos Bio may not realize the benefits of the collaboration; and risks associated with the sufficiency of Kronos Bio’s cash resources and need for additional capital. These and other risks and uncertainties are described in greater detail in Kronos Bio’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including under the heading “Risk Factors” in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2022, filed with the SEC on November 8, 2022. Any forward-looking statements that are made in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release and are based on management’s assumptions and estimates as of such date. Except as required by law, Kronos Bio assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

Claudia Styslinger
Argot Partners

Sheryl Seapy
Real Chemistry