We are a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel small molecule drugs that specifically target the cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is a complex biological infrastructure that plays a fundamental role within every human cell. A number of commonly used drugs and a growing body of research validate the role that the cytoskeleton plays in a wide array of human diseases. Our focus on the cytoskeleton enables us to develop novel and potentially safer and more effective classes of drugs directed at treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease, fungal diseases and other diseases. We have developed a cell biology driven approach and proprietary technologies to evaluate the function of many interacting proteins in the complex environment of the intact human cell. We believe that our approach enhances the speed, efficiency and yield of our drug discovery and development process by accurately and rapidly identifying drug candidates with attractive properties. Our approach has yielded two drug candidates for the treatment of cancer, a drug candidate for the treatment of acute congestive heart failure, and more than ten other research programs. Our most advanced drug candidate, SB-715992, is the subject of a broad Phase II clinical trials program designed to evaluate its effectiveness in many different types of cancer. An investigational new drug application, or IND, was filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in 2003 for our second cancer drug candidate, SB-743921, which we expect will enter Phase I clinical development in early 2004. In addition, we expect to initiate Phase I clinical development for a drug candidate, CK-1213296, for the treatment of acute congestive heart failure in the second half of 2004. Our strategy is to develop our own commercialization capabilities for those of our drug candidates that are directed towards large concentrated markets, however, it is possible that we may never successfully commercialize any of our drug candidates. Our leading drug candidates are in clinical or earlier stages of development, and we have neither received regulatory approval for, nor derived commercial revenues from, any of them and we expect to incur increasing losses over the next several years.
Our Focus on the Cytoskeleton
We believe that the cytoskeleton is one of a few biological areas with broad potential for drug discovery and development and has been scientifically and commercially validated in a wide variety of human diseases. For example, the cytoskeleton plays a fundamental role in the cell proliferation process, and cancer is a disease of unregulated cell proliferation. A number of commonly used cancer drugs inhibit cell proliferation by disrupting aspects of cytoskeletal function. However, these drugs also interrupt cytoskeletal functions unrelated to cell proliferation. This limits their clinical benefit and results in dose-limiting toxicities. As another example, the cytoskeleton plays a fundamental role in cardiac muscle contraction and has been linked to the origins of congestive heart failure, a disease of impaired cardiac function. Certain commonly used congestive heart failure drugs that work by indirectly modulating cytoskeletal function have limited therapeutic value due to their clinical side effects. We believe that our understanding of the cytoskeleton will allow us to develop potentially safer and more effective drugs for cancer and congestive heart failure. Our other research programs are also focused on diseases in which we believe the cytoskeleton plays a significant role.
Our Drug Candidates in Development
• Cancer: SB-715992 has entered a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and is expected to enter multiple Phase II clinical trials in other solid cancers throughout 2004. SB-715992 is a novel small molecule drug candidate that inhibits cell proliferation and promotes cancer cell death by specifically disrupting the function of a cytoskeletal protein known as kinesin spindle protein, or KSP. KSP is essential for cell proliferation, a process that when unregulated results in tumor growth. KSP plays no role outside of cell proliferation. Current drugs that inhibit cell proliferation, such as Taxol® (paclitaxel) and Taxotere® (docetaxel), are standard treatments for many types of cancers, but these drugs target tubulin, a cytoskeletal protein that is essential not only to cell proliferation but also to many other important cellular functions. Because SB-715992 inhibits only cell proliferation, we believe it may exhibit a lower incidence of toxicities than many existing cancer drugs. In addition, SB-715992’s novel mechanism of action may be effective against a broader range of tumor types.
We are participating in the development of SB-715992 which is being conducted by GlaxoSmithKline, or GSK, under our strategic alliance. GSK commenced a Phase II clinical trial for SB-715992 in non- small cell lung cancer in late 2003. A number of parallel Phase II monotherapy clinical trials and Phase Ib combination therapy clinical trials are scheduled to begin throughout 2004. These clinical trials are expected to evaluate this novel drug candidate in multiple tumor types including colorectal, breast and ovarian cancers. Also in 2004, the National Cancer Institute, or NCI, plans to sponsor additional Phase I and Phase II clinical trials designed to evaluate SB-715992 in other tumor types and other dosing regimens.
• Cancer: SB-743921 is expected to enter Phase I clinical trials in early 2004. This drug candidate also inhibits KSP but is structurally distinct from SB-715992. We believe that having two KSP inhibitors for the potential treatment of cancer in concurrent clinical development increases the likelihood that a commercial drug will be developed. SB-743921 is also being developed by GSK through our strategic alliance.
• Cardiovascular Disease: We expect to file an IND and initiate a Phase I clinical trial for our drug candidate for the treatment of acute congestive heart failure, CK-1213296, in the second half of 2004. Our drug candidate specifically targets a cytoskeletal protein, cardiac myosin, which is essential for cardiac muscle contraction. In animal models, CK-1213296 improves cardiac function without detrimental effects on heart rhythm, heart rate or blood pressure that limit the effectiveness of existing drugs.
Our Research Programs
We have more than ten research programs that address multiple therapeutic areas, such as fungal diseases, inflammatory diseases, high blood pressure and asthma. We structure our research programs in these therapeutic areas around cytoskeletal protein targets to discover and develop novel small molecule drug candidates that may address unmet clinical needs as well as the shortcomings of existing drugs.
Our Cell Biology Driven Approach to Drug Discovery and Development
All of our compounds in research and development have been discovered internally using our unique cell biology driven approach. We develop a detailed understanding of multiple proteins within a cytoskeletal pathway or multi-protein system to identify various intervention points to modulate the pathway or system to treat disease. We can then direct our discovery activities to specific cytoskeletal proteins that may be attractive targets for the development of potentially safer and more effective drugs.
We have also developed proprietary automated technologies, including our PUMA system and Cytometrix technologies, to enable early identification and prioritization of compounds that are highly selective for their intended protein targets without other cellular effects, and are thereby less likely to give rise to clinical side effects. The integrated use of these technologies enables us to efficiently
focus our research efforts and resources on those compounds directed at novel cytoskeletal protein targets that are more likely to yield attractive drug candidates. We have advanced our Cytometrix technologies through technical development activities conducted with each of Eisai Research Institute, Novartis Pharma AG, Tularik Inc. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Our Strategic Alliances
We selectively seek strategic alliances that enable us to maintain financial and operational flexibility while retaining significant economic and commercial rights to our drug candidates. In June 2001, we entered into a strategic alliance with GSK to discover, develop and commercialize small molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer as well as other diseases by targeting KSP and certain other related cytoskeletal proteins involved in cell proliferation. Under this strategic alliance, GSK has made a $14.0 million upfront cash payment and an initial $14.0 million investment in our equity. GSK has also committed to reimburse our full time equivalents, or FTEs, conducting research in connection with the strategic alliance and to make additional precommercialization milestone payments to us and pay royalties to us based on product sales. As of December 31, 2003, we have received $17.2 million in FTE reimbursement and $3.2 million in precommercialization milestone payments from GSK. We will receive future FTE reimbursement and could receive significant precommercialization milestone payments and royalties based on product sales. In addition, we retain both a product-by-product option to co-fund certain later-stage development activities in exchange for a higher royalty rate, and an option to secure additional co-promotion rights. In December 2003, we entered into a strategic alliance with AstraZeneca AB to fund and participate in the development of a new application of our Cytometrix technologies for use by both parties.
Our Corporate Strategy
Our goal is to become a fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel drugs to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease and other diseases. We intend to achieve this goal by:
• focusing on the cytoskeleton;
• leveraging our cell biology driven approach and proprietary technologies to increase the speed, efficiency and yield of our drug discovery and development process;
• pursuing multiple drug candidates for each cytoskeletal protein target and broad clinical trials for each drug candidate;
• establishing select strategic alliances to accelerate our drug development programs while preserving significant development and commercial rights; and
• building development and commercialization capabilities directed towards large concentrated markets.
Our business is subject to a number of risks of which you should be aware before making an investment decision. These risks are discussed more fully in “Risk Factors”. All of our drug candidates, including SB-715992, SB-743921 and CK-1213296, are in clinical or earlier stages of development. Accordingly, we have not received regulatory approval for, nor commercial revenues from, any of our drug candidates. It is possible that neither we nor our partners may ever successfully commercialize any of our drug candidates. As of December 31, 2003, we had incurred $94.1 million in net losses since inception. Because our initial drug candidates are in the early stages of clinical testing, we expect to continue to incur increasing losses over the next several years, and we may never become profitable.
Private Sale of Shares to GSK
We have entered into an agreement pursuant to which we will sell an affiliate of GSK approximately $7.0 million of our common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering at a per share price equal to our per share initial public offering price. Assuming an initial public offering price of $12.00 per share, an affiliate of GSK will purchase 583,333 restricted shares of our common stock at a price of $12.00 per share.
We were incorporated in Delaware in August 1997 as Cytokinetics, Incorporated. Our principal executive offices are located at 280 East Grand Avenue, South San Francisco, California 94080, and our telephone number is (650) 624-3000. Our website address is cytokinetics.com.