Subverting Cancer’s Ability to Evade Therapy

Targeting Adapative Resistance

Kurome® Therapeutics is developing therapies that target cancer cells that have co-opted immune signaling pathways in order to avoid destruction by traditional therapeutic agents and subvert adaptive resistance mechanisms.

Adaptive Resistance is Complex…

  • Cancer cells adapt to chemo- and targeted therapies by co-opting signaling pathways previously thought to only be utilized by the host immune system. This is referred to as adaptive resistance
  • This adaptive resistance mechanism allows the cancer cell to survive conventional chemotherapeutic and targeted therapies (e.g. FLT3 inhibitors) by activating IRAK1 and IRAK4 kinases

…But Kurome Has a New Approach

  • In pre-clinical trials, we have shown that inhibiting IRAK1 and IRAK4 provides an overall survival benefit in MDS and AML cells by suppressing this adaptive resistance mechanism in naïve and relapsed / refractory cancer
  • IRAK1 and IRAK4 are also co-opted in a variety of cancer cell backgrounds, where their inhibition suppresses the survival of the cancer cells

Our Technology

A targeted approach for treating hematological cancers and beyond

PDX Graph

Kurome Therapeutics is a preclinical stage company that is developing a series of IRAK1/4, panFLT3 inhibitors. Preclinical studies have demonstrated:

  • Broad range of efficacy in MDS and AML patient-derived cell lines
  • Synergy with Venclexta® (Venetoclax) to improve Venclexta® potency
  • Identification of a biomarker that correlates with prognosis in AML patients and maximal activation of immune signaling through this pathway in AML cells
  • Increased overall survival in cell line and patient-derived xenograft models, well beyond that of existing FLT3 inhibitors
  • Maintenance of complete efficacy even in settings of adaptive resistance to FLT3 inhibitors and in settings of FLT3 mutations

Kurome’s Team

A seasoned technical management team with more than 50 years of combined experience in Pharma and Biotech investment and program execution.

Management
Jan Rosenbaum

Jan Rosenbaum, PhD

President & CEO / Chief Scientific Officer
  • Engaged by CCHMC’s Innovation Ventures to establish value proposition and business case
  • Over 25 years Pharma, Biotech technical management experience
  • Former CSO, Airway Therapeutics; 5 years CincyTech; Advisory Panel, Harrington Discovery Institute
  • 12 patents and >35 publications
John Rice

John Rice, PhD

Executive Chairman
  • Managing Director, CincyTech
  • 30 years investing, 13 years R&D management experience
  • Currently Chairman, Airway Therapeutics, Eccrine Systems, Genetesis, Xact Medical
  • Member of the Board: Enable Injections, Meridian Biosciences
  • Founder & Former Chair, Akebia and Aerpio
Scientific Advisory Board
Daniel Starczynowski

Daniel Starczynowski, PhD

Chairman
  • Scientific Founder, Kurome Therapeutics
  • Professor, Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC)
  • Katherine Stewart Waters Endowed Chair of Hematologic Malignancies
  • Forty under 40 (Cincinnati Business Courier) and NHLBI Emerging Investigator Award recipient
  • 9 patents and >50 publications
Guillermo Garcia-Manero

Guillermo Garcia-Manero, M.D.

  • Deputy Chair, Department of Leukemia; Chief, Section of Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (MDS-CMML), University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Director, Leukemia Clinical Fellowship Program, Department of Leukemia, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Director, MDS/AML Moon Shot ®, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Chair, Faculty Senate, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • 700+ publications in the areas of biology, therapy, and prognostication of leukemias and hematological neoplasms, and development and implementation of 85+ therapeutic clinical trials
Mikkael A. Sekeres

Mikkael A. Sekeres, M.D., M.S.

  • Chief, Division of Hematology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine – Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Former Chair of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the F.D.A
  • Chair, Medical Advisory Board of the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) International Foundation, the MDS Research Fund of the Dresner Foundation, and the Cleveland Clinic Enterprise Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee
  • He is the author or co-author of over 350 manuscripts and 550 abstracts published in leading journals such as NEJM, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PLoS One, and Leukemia.
  • Inaugural editor-in-chief of the ASH Clinical News magazine; he is on the editorial board of several journals; has written over 50 essays for The New York Times; and has authored 7 books, including the recently released When Blood Breaks Down: Lessons from Leukemia (MIT Press, March 17, 2020
Ross L. Levine

Ross L. Levine, M.D.

  • Chief, Molecular Cancer Medicine Service, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Attending Physician on the Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine, the Laurence Joseph Dineen Chair in Leukemia Research and a Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
  • A physician-scientist whose laboratory focuses on elucidating the genetic basis of myeloid malignancies and using this knowledge to improve outcomes for patients with these disorders. His primary research interests include the role of JAK-STAT signaling in malignant transformation and in the effects of mutations in epigenetic modifiers in clonal hematopoiesis, MPN, and AML
  • Recipient of the Dameshek Prize from the American Society of Hematology, a Scholar Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Boyer Award for Clinical Investigation from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and an NCI Outstanding Investigator R35 Award
  • Serves on the Supervisory Board of Qiagen and on the Scientific Advisory Board of C4 Therapeutics, Isoplexis, Mana Therapeutics and was on the Scientific Advisory Board of Loxo Oncology.
Board of Directors
Abram Gordon

Abram Gordon, JD

Board Member
  • Interim Vice President, CCHMC’s Innovation Ventures
  • Executive Director, Cincinnati Children’s Proton Therapy Center
  • Attorney with 20+ years of legal and management experience in several different industries
June Almenoff

June Almenoff MD, PhD, FACP

Board Member
  • Biopharma C-level executive and entrepreneurial leader with 20+ year experience in small and large companies. Expertise in R&D, business, commercial strategy
  • Former President and CMO of Furiex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Actavis for $1.2B)
  • Currently serve as Chief Scientific Officer of RedHill Biophama (Nasdaq: RDHL)
  • Board Membership: Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: BCLI); Investment Advisory Board, Harrington Discovery Institute; former Executive Chair, RDD Pharma; former BoD Member, Tiigenix (acquired by Takeda)
  • Former VP at GlaxoSmithKline
Manish Bhandari

Manish Bhandari, MD

Board Member
  • Oncologist, educated Harvard Medical School & Univ of Michigan; with 15 year oncology practice experience
  • Investigator in over 24 oncology therapeutic/targeted therapy trials in malignant hematology and Oncology
  • Awarded "Unsung Hero" award by Cancer Family care and "Lifetime achievement award" as Oncology Luminary for cancer susceptibility testing
  • Over dozen publications in Oncology and malignant hematology
  • Angel investor in over half dozen biotech and medtech startups (Blinkpad, Zenspace, Enable injections, Blue Water Vaccines, SayanMil Scientific)
  • Oncology patient motivational speaker
Jan Rosenbaum

Jan Rosenbaum, PhD

President & CEO / Chief Scientific Officer
  • Engaged by CCHMC’s Innovation Ventures to establish value proposition and business case
  • Over 25 years Pharma, Biotech technical management experience
  • Former CSO, Airway Therapeutics; 5 years CincyTech; Advisory Panel, Harrington Discovery Institute
  • 12 patents and >35 publications
John Rice

John Rice, PhD

Executive Chairman
  • Managing Director, CincyTech
  • 30 years investing, 13 years R&D management experience
  • Currently Chairman, Airway Therapeutics, Eccrine Systems, Genetesis, Xact Medical
  • Member of the Board: Enable Injections, Meridian Biosciences
  • Founder & Former Chair, Akebia and Aerpio

News & Research

Filter:
NA P&G alum tapped as CEO of Cincinnati Children’s spin-out company
29 April 2020
Cincinnati Business Courier
RP Targeting AML-associated FLT3 mutations with a type I kinase inhibitor
Jones LM et al - 2020
Journal of Clinical Investigation
RP Overcoming adaptive therapy resistance in AML by targeting immune response pathways
Melgar K et al – 2019
Science Translational Medicine
RP IRAK signalling in cancer
Rhyasen GW and Starczynowski DT – 2015
British Journal of Cancer
RP IRAK1: Oncotarget in MDS and AML
Beverly LJ and Starczynowski DT - 2014
Oncotarget