Interview with Craig W. Philips, President of Kineta, Inc.
Investing in Biotech Companies
Over the previous few months, we have interviewed a number of the scientific staff at Kineta. They have shared information about their novel new drug programs in immuno-oncology, their partnership with Pfizer for one of Kineta’s novel cancer drugs, and their partnership with Genentech for Kineta’s non-opioid drug for chronic pain. We learned about your drug development program with your anti-VISTA antibody program and how your drug may be able to train the body’s immune system to better attack cancer cells, especially in hard to treat solid tumor cancers.
This month we are speaking with Craig W. Philips, President at Kineta. Craig worked in big pharma for 20 years before becoming COO of a public biotech company in Seattle. He was an investor in Kineta, and a few years ago came on board with Kineta as a fulltime employee as the company was looking to partner some of the drug programs with pharma and as the company was preparing to enter the public market through an IPO.
Craig thank you for joining us, can you share with us how Kineta is different from other biotech companies. Is it different?
Craig – I am happy to be here. When you look at Kineta today, you will see that Kineta is different in several key ways.
Firstly, the company has partnered 2 of its drug programs with the largest 2 pharma companies in the world, Pfizer and Genentech. These partnerships not only validate the quality of science, and deal making capabilities of the company, but they provide potentially huge long term sources of revenue to the company and our investors.
Secondly, the company is focused on the field of immuno-oncology (IO), we have a strong scientific foundation in this exciting field. This sector of the health care market is large and growing. The IO market is expected to grow to over $150 billion by 2025. We have the right skill set in the right sector at the right time.
Thirdly, our team is experienced. Our scientists, our business team and our transaction team have all been successful in successfully developing and partnering drug programs.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your partnered drug programs, how are these deals structured?
We have partnered 2 of our 4 drug programs with the top 2 pharma companies in the world (Pfizer and Genentech). These partnered programs have over $850 million in potential milestones over the life of the programs PLUS we are eligible to receive double digit royalties. Importantly, we anticipate receiving $40 million in milestones over the next 18 months. The milestones and royalties could potentially provide a revenue stream for the next 15 years. Both of these transactions were above the average deal values in the industry.
Can you comment on your exit? What is the plan for your investors today?
We are looking to IPO in 2020 or 2021. While we would of course encourage our investors to stay with us in the long term, investors will have the opportunity to sell into the public market. The IPO and M&A markets are very buoyant for biotech companies, especially those companies in the IO field like Kineta. We have begun discussions with investment banks, and we are receiving positive feedback about the prospects for Kineta. The general belief is that our partnered programs provide a significant diversification in risk and our VISTA program provides a significant upside for our investors.
Thank you for your time today, do you have any final comments you would like to share?
Thank you for speaking with me today. We are excited at Kineta and we think that our drug portfolio, our partnered programs, our strong team, and the dynamic nature of the industry segment we are focused on presents a novel investment opportunity for your readers. If any reader is interested in learning more about Kineta, please contact Gary Gentges at [email protected]