Kezar Life Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:KZR) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 05, 2020 • 04:30 pm ET


Kezar Life Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:KZR) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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John Fowler

for the treatment of a number of severe autoimmune diseases. These last few months, we've been working closely with our clinical sites to assess COVID-19 impacts and provide them with guides for patients to safely continue on study. Even with the situation being fluid, we've certainly seen that our sites have been impacted with some clinics halting screening altogether while others have remained open but with reduced activity.

Thankfully, given the growing understanding of KZR-616's mechanisms as immunomodulatory rather than immunosuppressive, we believe that we are not layering another level of systemic risk into the equation for investigators who need to remain laser-focused on protecting their [Indecipherable] patients during this pandemic. Based upon the encouraging updated results from the Phase 1b portion admission that we released in June and the slowdown in recruitment and enrollment activities across our trials, we've taken this opportunity to reevaluate our clinical strategy with KZR-616. Noreen has been instrumental in bringing her fresh perspective to the KZR-616 development strategy and will outline changes that I've strongly believed increase our likelihood of success treating a wide range of immune-mediated diseases.

But before turning the call over to Noreen, there are a few points I'd love to highlight. First, the positive learnings that we've gained from the nearly complete Phase 1b ambition study has our team, our investigators and patients very excited about the prospect of KZR-616 to be a game-changer. We're more confident than ever that inhibiting the immunoproteasome as a master regulator in immune cell function has profound therapeutic potential to transform the lives of patients living with severe autoimmune disease.

Additionally, as many of you know, we've never been content to be a single asset company so we are also pioneering small molecule approaches against another novel target with platform potential, the Sec61 Translocon. Our R&D activities for this program have largely continued to pace and we remain on track to submit an I&D for a first in human clinical trial of our protein secretion inhibitor KZR-261 in patients with solid tumors early next year. Despite not being in the clinic yet this program has already been highlighted in both oral and poster presentations at Ash and ASCO, which speaks to the novelty of the mechanism and its powerful therapeutic potential.

Kezar's president and CSO, Chris Kirk will be reviewing some of these data later in the call. Finally, we are pleased to be well-capitalized with a strong balance sheet that provides for an ample runway for us to accomplish our goals with these studies. Our CFO, Mark Belsky will walk you through all the details on our financials at the end of the call.

With that, I'd love to turn the call over to Noreen to walk you through a comprehensive clinical update. Noreen?

Noreen R. Henig

Thank you, John. First off, I'd like to echo John's sentiments regarding this stellar team that I've had the pleasure of working with for the last three months. It's been a whirlwind joining Kezar especially in the midst of