Chinook Therapeutics Provides Business Update and Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results

SEATTLE, April 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Chinook Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: KDNY), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of precision medicines for kidney diseases, today provided a business update and reported financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2020.

“We are executing well on our goal of building Chinook into a leading kidney disease company. 2020 was a very busy and productive year, as we in-licensed atrasentan from AbbVie, closed a $115 million financing, brought BION-1301 into our pipeline through the merger with Aduro, unveiled CHK-336, our first internally-developed program, and bolstered our precision medicine discovery and research efforts,” said Eric Dobmeier, president and chief executive officer of Chinook Therapeutics. “We are excited to have recently initiated our atrasentan phase 3 ALIGN and phase 2 AFFINITY trials and announced our collaboration with Evotec. We look forward to multiple data announcements from our BION-1301 program this year, as well as continuing to move CHK-336 towards the clinic.”

Mr. Dobmeier continued, “Our team has grown over 300 percent since the beginning of 2020, and we’re continuing to execute on our hiring plans to ensure we have strong resourcing in place to advance our pipeline. Our solid cash position, which we expect to fund our operations to the middle of 2023, enables us to achieve key milestones across our programs.”

2020 and Recent Accomplishments

Atrasentan

  • Enrolled the first patient in the phase 2 AFFINITY basket trial of atrasentan, a highly potent and selective endothelin A receptor (ETA) antagonist (see www.clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT04573920). Chinook expects to report data from initial patient cohorts of this study in 2022.
  • Enrolled the first patient with IgA nephropathy in the phase 3 ALIGN trial of atrasentan, (see www.clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT04573478). Chinook expects to report top-line proteinuria data from this study in 2023, which could support accelerated approval from the FDA.
  • Delivered an oral presentation at the 3rd Annual Chronic Kidney Disease Drug Development (CKD3) Summit on selective ETA receptor antagonist atrasentan for the treatment of primary glomerular diseases.
  • Entered into a license agreement with Morehouse School of Medicine for patents supporting the development of therapies in kidney diseases that disproportionately affect people of West African descent and underserved communities, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN).
  • Delivered a poster presentation at the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined on the phase 3 ALIGN trial design for atrasentan.
  • Entered into a license agreement with AbbVie for worldwide, exclusive rights to atrasentan.

BION-1301

  • Completed enrollment and analysis of a phase 1 intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous (SC) bioavailability study of BION-1301, a novel anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody, in healthy volunteers.
  • Dosed the first patient with IgAN in Part 3 of the ongoing phase 1 study of BION-1301.
  • Delivered a poster presentation at the 57th ERA-EDTA Virtual Congress and ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined on healthy volunteer data from Part 1 (single ascending dose) and Part 2 (multiple ascending dose) of the ongoing phase 1 study of BION-1301.
  • Delivered a poster presentation at the 57th ERA-EDTA Virtual Congress on nonclinical toxicology studies of BION-1301 evaluating IV administration for up to six months and SC administration for up to one month.

CHK-336

  • Received rare pediatric disease designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for CHK-336, an investigational oral small molecule inhibitor of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), for primary hyperoxaluria (PH).
  • Delivered a preclinical poster presentation at the ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined unveiling CHK-336 with the potential to treat all subtypes of PH and other disorders arising from excess oxalate.

Precision Medicine Research & Discovery

  • Participated in an expert panel discussion at the 3rd Annual CKD3 Summit on executing precision medicine in clinical trials.
  • Entered into a strategic collaboration with Evotec to discover and develop novel precision medicine therapies for polycystic kidney disease (PKD), lupus nephritis, IgAN and other primary glomerular diseases by leveraging the National Unified Renal Translational Research Enterprise (NURTuRE) patient biobank and Evotec’s proprietary PanHunter multi-omics platform.
  • Presented an oral abstract at the ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined on a single cell transcriptomic atlas of human autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) through Chinook’s academic collaboration with the laboratory of Benjamin Humphreys, M.D., Ph.D., Joseph Friedman Professor of Renal Diseases in Medicine and Chief of Nephrology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Corporate

  • Appointed healthcare financial expert, Eric Bjerkholt, as chief financial officer.
  • Appointed the following life sciences industry veterans to the Board of Directors: William M. Greenman, president and chief executive officer of Cerus Corporation; Michelle Griffin, director and audit committee chair for Adaptive Biotechnologies, Acer Therapeutics and HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc.; Ross Haghighat, founder, chairman and managing partner of Triton Systems, Inc.; and Dolca Thomas, M.D., executive vice president, head of research and development and chief medical officer of Equillium, Inc.
  • Closed the merger with Aduro Biotech, Inc. on October 5, 2020 and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “KDNY.”
  • Completed a $115 million private placement financing with top-tier healthcare investors concurrent with the merger closing.

Anticipated Upcoming Catalysts

  • Chinook expects to present Gd-IgA1 biomarker data in healthy volunteers from Part 1 (single ascending dose) and Part 2 (multiple ascending dose) of the ongoing phase 1b study of BION-1301 at the ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2021 in April.
  • Chinook expects to present data from the BION-1301 phase 1 IV to SC bioavailability study in healthy volunteers at the ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2021 in April. Results from the study demonstrate the potential to transition to SC administration of BION-1301 in the long-term extension and phase 2 studies.
  • Part 3 of Chinook’s phase 1b study of BION-1301 is currently enrolling IgAN patients in an open-label setting, and Chinook expects to present a small subset of interim patient data in an oral presentation at the 58th ERA-EDTA Congress in June, as well as additional patient data at the ASN Kidney Week 2021 in November.
  • CHK-336 is currently in IND-enabling studies and advancing towards an expected IND submission in late 2021 or early 2022 for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results

  • Cash Position – Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $250.4 million at December 31, 2020, compared to $11.2 million at December 31, 2019.
  • Revenue – Total revenue increased by $0.8 million for both the fourth quarter of 2020 and year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 and year ended December 31, 2019. The increase was due to revenue recognized related to research and development services provided under the collaboration agreement with Lilly.
  • Expenses –
    • Research and development expenses were $21.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 and $36.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $9.2 million and $17.0 million, respectively, for the same periods in 2019. For the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020, the increases were primarily due to external clinical and manufacturing expenses related to the atrasentan and BION-1301 clinical programs; higher personnel expenses, including salaries, benefits and stock-based compensation expense associated with hiring staff to build out our clinical and development capabilities; and increased spending for consulting and outside services. The year-over-year increase was partially offset by expenses in the prior year period for the in-license of atrasentan, the purchase of intellectual property and know-how from a related party to support the CHK-336 program and discovery research activities.
    • General and administrative expenses were $11.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 and $19.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $0.7 million and $3.0 million, respectively, for the same periods in 2019. For the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020, costs increased primarily due to legal, consulting and accounting costs related to the merger; an increase in personnel costs, including salaries, benefits and stock-based compensation expense due to the addition of administrative staff to buildout our public-company infrastructure; and an increase in facilities and other costs.
  • Net Loss – Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $49.9 million or $1.24 per share and $81.6 million or $6.20 per share for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to net loss of $34.2 million or $14.65 per share and $46.5 million or $25.48 per share, respectively, for the same periods in 2019.
  • Cash Used in Operations – For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020, cash used in operations totaled $41.3 million, of which $20.1 million were non-recurring expenses related to the merger and integration with Aduro Biotech.

About Chinook Therapeutics, Inc.
Chinook Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for kidney diseases. Chinook’s product candidates are being investigated in rare, severe chronic kidney disorders with opportunities for well-defined clinical pathways. Chinook’s lead program is atrasentan, a phase 3 endothelin receptor antagonist for the treatment of IgA nephropathy and other primary glomerular diseases. BION-1301, an anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody is being evaluated in a phase 1b trial for IgA nephropathy. In addition, Chinook is advancing CHK-336, an oral small molecule LDHA inhibitor for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria, as well as research programs for other rare, severe chronic kidney diseases. Chinook is building its pipeline by leveraging insights in kidney single cell RNA sequencing, human-derived organoids and new translational models, to discover and develop therapeutics with differentiating mechanisms of action against key kidney disease pathways. To learn more, visit www.chinooktx.com.

Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
Certain of the statements made in this press release are forward looking, including those relating to Chinook’s business, future operations, advancement of its product candidates and product pipeline, clinical development of its product candidates, including expectations regarding cash forecasts and timing of initiation and results of clinical trials. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “will,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “project,” “expect” or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, including initiation of clinical trials of our existing product candidates or those developed as part of the Evotec collaboration, whether results of early clinical trials or preclinical studies will be indicative of the results of future trials, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, our ability to operate in a competitive industry and compete successfully against competitors that may be more advanced or have greater resources than we do, our ability to obtain and adequately protect intellectual property rights for our product candidates and the effects of COVID-19 on our clinical programs and business operations. Many of these risks are described in greater detail in our filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Chinook assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

Contact:
Noopur Liffick
Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
[email protected]
[email protected]

CHINOOK THERAPEUTICS, INC.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

  Three Months Ended December 31,     Year Ended December 31,  
  2020     2019     2020     2019  
Revenue:                              
Collaboration and license revenue $ 827     $     $ 827     $  
Total revenue   827             827        
Operating expenses:                              
Research and development   21,788       9,195       36,051       17,010  
General and administrative   11,023       695       19,071       2,956  
Change in fair value of contingent consideration   1,510             1,510        
Amortization of intangible assets   422             422        
Total operating expenses   34,743       9,890       57,054       19,966  
Net loss from operations   (33,916 )     (9,890 )     (56,227 )     (19,966 )
Other income (expense):                              
Interest expense – related party   (2 )     (7 )     (15 )     (33 )
Other income (expense), net   165       44       313       299  
Change in fair value of redeemable convertible preferred stock tranche liability   (18,163 )     (24,352 )     (27,696 )     (26,819 )
Loss before income tax benefit   (51,916 )     (34,205 )     (83,625 )     (46,519 )
Income tax benefit   2,003             2,003        
Net loss $ (49,913 )   $ (34,205 )   $ (81,622 )   $ (46,519 )
Net loss per common share, basic and diluted $ (1.24 )   $ (14.65 )   $ (6.20 )   $ (25.48 )
Shares used in computing net loss per common share,
basic and diluted
  40,326,568       2,334,877       13,168,143       1,825,716  
                               

CHINOOK THERAPEUTICS, INC.
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands)

    December 31,  
    2020     2019  
Assets                
Current assets:                
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 187,750     $ 11,203  
Restricted cash           154  
Marketable securities     59,622        
Accounts receivable     262        
Prepaid expenses and other current assets     6,447       1,174  
Total current assets     254,081       12,531  
Marketable securities     3,000        
Property and equipment, net and finance right-of-use asset     20,626       1,311  
Restricted cash     1,750        
Operating lease right-of-use assets     55,673       1,880  
Intangible assets, net     27,696        
IPR&D     39,295        
Goodwill     22,441        
Other assets     4,440        
Total assets   $ 429,002     $ 15,722  
Liabilities, Redeemable Convertible Preferred Stock and Stockholders’
Equity (Deficit)
               
Current liabilities:                
Accounts payable (including amounts due to related party of $9 and $250 at
December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively)
  $ 3,995     $ 939  
Accrued and other current liabilities (including amounts due to related party of
$192 and $489 at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively)
    15,674       1,250  
Operating lease liabilities (including amounts due to related party of $0 and $163
    at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively)
    3,045       163  
Finance lease liabilities – related party           75  
Deferred revenue     95        
Total current liabilities     22,809       2,427  
Redeemable convertible preferred stock tranche liability           32,733  
Contingent value right liability     13,780        
Contingent consideration related to acquisition     1,800        
Deferred tax liabilities     16,377        
Operating lease liabilities, net of current maturities (including amounts due
to related party of $0 and $1,732 at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively)
    38,709       1,732  
Finance lease liabilities, net of current maturities – related party           114  
Other long-term liabilities     905        
Total liabilities     94,380       37,006  
Commitments and contingencies                
Redeemable convertible preferred stock, $0.0001 par value; none and 65,000,000
shares authorized as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively; none and
    7,596,886 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 2019,
    respectively; liquidation preference $0 and $26,000 as of December 31, 2020
and 2019, respectively
          19,835  
Stockholders’ equity (deficit):                
Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value; 10,000,000 and no shares authorized as of
December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively; no shares issued and outstanding
as of December 31, 2020 and 2019
           
Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 300,000,000 shares authorized as of
December 31, 2020 and 2019; 42,282,381 and 4,501,885 shares issued
and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively
    4        
Additional paid-in capital     463,436       6,095  
Accumulated deficit     (128,829 )     (47,207 )
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)     11       (7 )
Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)     334,622       (41,119 )
Total liabilities, redeemable convertible preferred stock and stockholders’
equity (deficit)
  $ 429,002     $ 15,722  

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