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Kyverna is innovating cell therapy as a potentially curative approach to autoimmunity. Unlike current immunomodulatory treatments known to provide incremental disease control through chronic dosing, cell therapy holds the promise of appropriately modulating the immune system through a single – or relatively few – infusion(s) to achieve optimal and long-lasting disease control. We believe that Kyverna’s engineered cells have the potential to address the underlying mechanisms of autoimmune disease with the additional benefits of improving safety and tolerability by minimizing toxicity associated with current treatments. Kyverna is leveraging multiple approaches drawn from its SmarTcellTM Genetic Engineering Toolbox. Using our technology platforms – synReg-T cells (synthetic regulatory T cells) and synNotch CAR-T cells (chimeric antigen receptor T cells) – we are programming immune cells with instructions to suppress or eliminate pathogenic cells in the diseased tissues in which they are exerting their deleterious effects. Our initial disease targets are diseases for which there are no approved treatments, or for which the results of existing treatments could be further improved. In the absence of an approved treatment, physicians will often try out other medicines, exposing patients to the side-effects of these medicines with no demonstrated efficacy for the patients’ disease. This reality underscores the pressing need to come up with better solutions for patients. While treatments exist for other autoimmune diseases (e.g. Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD), a significant portion of patients are refractory and would benefit from new approaches. In January 2020, the company announced a $25M Series A investment from Vida Ventures, Westlake Partners, and Gilead. At this time, the company named industry veteran Dominic Borie, MD., Ph.D., an accomplished immunologist, digestive tract and liver transplant surgeon with extensive drug development experience from Genentech, Roche and Amgen, as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Kyverna also announced it had entered into a strategic collaboration and license agreement with Gilead to develop engineered T cell therapies for the treatment of autoimmune disease based on Kyverna’s synthetic regulatory T cell platform and synNotch technology from Kite, a Gilead company.

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