News & Press Releases

Kleo Pharmaceuticals Receives IND Authorization to Proceed from FDA for its Multiple Myeloma Therapeutic

KP1237, a CD38-Targeting Antibody Recruiting Molecule (ARM™), to Be Tested in Combination with NK Cells to Treat Post-Transplant Multiple Myeloma Patients


New Haven, CT, February 6, 2020 – Kleo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an immuno-oncology company developing next-generation, fully synthetic bispecific compounds designed to emulate or enhance the activity of biologics, announced today that it has received Investigational New Drug (IND) authorization to proceed from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate a safety and tolerability clinical study combining KP1237, a  CD38-targeting antibody recruiting molecule (ARM™), with patients’ own Natural Killer (NK) cells to treat multiple myeloma (MM) in post-transplant patients.

The single-arm study will be conducted in 25-30 patients with exploratory endpoints that assess the MRD (minimal residual disease) conversion rate at 90-100 days after transplantation. Recent clinical trials have identified MRD negativity post-transplant as a potential surrogate of long-term remission in MM. The trial is expected to begin enrollment in the first half of 2020, and topline data are expected in the second half of 2021.

“We are excited to have clearance to initiate a clinical trial in the US that addresses a significant unmet medical need in newly diagnosed, post-transplant multiple myeloma patients,” said Kleo CEO Doug Manion, MD. “Approximately 30,000 individuals are diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the United States each year, with at least 1/3 of those patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplants.”

In this trial, KP1237 is being investigated as a “cell homing” molecule to target the patient’s activated NK cells to the CD38-expressing tumor. Current anti-CD38 therapeutic antibodies kill NK cells and are not approved for use in this clinical setting[i].

Nonclinical efficacy data presented at the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting demonstrated that CD38-ARMs are able to kill multiple myeloma cells by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity without depleting CD38-expressing immune cells. Nonclinical data also demonstrated that the CD38-ARM molecule did not induce complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) suggesting it is not likely to cause CDC in humans. Kleo’s 2019 ASH posters can be viewed here and here.


About Kleo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Kleo Pharmaceuticals is a unique immuno-oncology company developing next-generation bispecific compounds designed to emulate or enhance the activity of biologics based on the groundbreaking research of its scientific founder Dr. David Spiegel at Yale University.  Similar to complex biologic drugs, Kleo’s compounds recruit the immune system to destroy cancer cells, with the advantage of being smaller and more versatile, leading to potentially improved safety and efficacy over biologics. They are also much faster and less costly to design and produce, particularly against novel targets. Kleo is advancing several drug candidates based on its proprietary technology platforms, all of which are modular in design and enable rapid generation of novel immunotherapies that can be optimized against certain cancers, or enhance the properties of existing immunotherapies. These include Antibody Recruiting Molecules (ARMs), Synthetic Antibody Mimics (SyAMs) and Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Enhancers (MATEs). Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company (NYSE:BHVN) and PeptiDream Inc. (Nikkei:PPTDF) are investors in Kleo Pharmaceuticals.  For more information visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties, including statements that are based on the current expectations and assumptions of the Company’s management. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding the Company’s plans and objectives, expectations and assumptions of management are forward-looking statements. The use of certain words, including the words “estimate,” “project,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “will,” “plan,” “could,” “may” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are made as of this date and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc.

Maureen McEnroe, CFA (Investors)



Ingrid Mezo (Media)


[i] DARZALEX® (daratumumab) injection [package insert on the internet]. Horsham, PA: Janssen Biotech, Inc., (2019, accessed 05 February 2020).

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