Kyn Therapeutics was founded by professor George Georgiou, Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin and funded in March 2016 by OrbiMed and Atlas Venture. Kyn is building a leading immune-oncology company with the primary program focused on the clinically validated IDO/TDO immunosuppressive pathway.
IDO and TDO are metabolic enzymes overexpressed in many cancers that convert tryptophan to kynurenine. Kynurenine accumulates in the tumor microenvironment where it enters immune cells and binds the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) triggering broad immunosuppression. Kynurenine signaling affects multiple cell types in the innate and adaptive immune system and inhibiting this pathway unleashes the immune system to attack the tumor.
Kyn Therapeutics is developing a novel approach to target both IDO and TDO mediated immunosuppression through enzymatic degradation of kynurenine systemically and in the tumor microenvironment. This approach is differentiated from the current inhibitors in the clinic that only target IDO expressing tumors. Inhibiting the IDO/TDO pathway is expected to have broad application across many tumor types.