March 23, 2022

Catalys Pacific Launches Kirilys Therapeutics as a Multi-asset Precision Oncology Company

Catalys Pacific Launches Kirilys Therapeutics as a Multi-asset Precision Oncology Company

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kirilys Therapeutics, Inc., a private, preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company founded by investment firm Catalys Pacific, announced today that the Company completed a seed financing led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company licensed its lead compound, KRLS-017, from Ube Industries, Ltd., a premier Japanese chemical manufacturer. The company also completed a partnership agreement with D2G Oncology, Inc. which uses genetically defined animal tumor models to reveal relationships between cancer genotypes and drug efficacy. This financing round will enable Kirilys to complete all activities through the IND filing of KRLS-017, as well as preparatory work for the Phase 1 clinical development program.

KRLS-017 is a reversible small molecule inhibitor of Cyclin Dependent Kinase 7 (CDK7). CDK7 has been implicated as a key regulator of both transcriptional addiction and cell cycle dysregulation in tumors and therefore represents an attractive target for therapeutic intervention across a broad range of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. In preclinical studies, KRLS-017 demonstrated best-in-class potency, selectivity, and anti-tumor efficacy along with very favorable properties for an oral drug.

“Selective inhibition of CDK7 offers a compelling opportunity to bring new therapeutic options to patients suffering from difficult to treat transcriptionally-driven cancers,” said Galym Imanbayev, M.D., partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. “We are excited to back this unique combination of accomplished team, quality of asset, and a proprietary clinical strategy enabled by D2G Oncology.”

“We founded Kirilys to combine ground-breaking science in precision oncology from D2G Oncology with excellent drug discovery from Japan,” said BT Slingsby, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., founder and executive chairman of Kirilys and managing partner, Catalys Pacific. “KRLS-017 holds significant potential for patients worldwide and we are confident in the tremendously experienced Kirilys team to develop KRLS-017 and deliver on that promise.”

Joining BT Slingsby and Takeshi Takahashi on the board of directors are Kapil Dhingra, M.B.B.S., who is the former Head of Roche Oncology and Co-Founder of Kirilys, and Galym Imanbayev, M.D., M.B.A., Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

About Kirilys Therapeutics, Inc.
Kirilys Therapeutics, Inc. is a private, preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to the development of multiple precision oncology assets. Kirilys’ initial asset is KRLS-017, a novel CDK7 inhibitor with the potential to improve the treatment of multiple cancers. Kirilys is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information about Kirilys, please visit

About Catalys Pacific. Catalys Pacific is a life sciences venture capital firm focusing on early-stage investments. The firm’s mission is to provide healthcare solutions for patients worldwide through the creation of and investment in biotech companies. Catalys Pacific is led by a global team versed in working closely with its partners in academia, biotech, venture capital and the pharmaceutical industry worldwide with an emphasis in Japan. The firm maintains offices in Tokyo and Kanagawa (Shonan Health Innovation Park), Japan and in San Francisco, California. For more information about Catalys Pacific, please visit

About D2G Oncology, Inc.
D2G Oncology is a precision oncology company focused on relating drugs to genotypes to transform cancer drug development. The company unravels the causal rules of genotype-driven tumor responses to therapies by integrating clinical and functional genomic data with a proprietary in vivo modeling platform to improve the clinical success of cancer therapies. D2G Oncology’s platform combines DNA barcoding and somatic genome editing to quantify genotype-specific drug responses of millions of individual tumors at an unprecedented scale and resolution.

About Lightspeed Venture Partners
Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise, Consumer, and Health sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 400+ companies globally. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage $10.5B across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. For more information, please visit

About Ube Industries, Ltd.
Ube Industries is a chemistry-focused company that is also engaged in the construction materials and machinery businesses. In its pharmaceutical business, Ube Industries aims to contribute to better health for everyone by manufacturing drugs using innovative technologies. Ube Industries creates promising new medicines by taking a dual approach of pursuing drug discovery through internal and joint research and development projects, and manufacturing and supplying Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and intermediates. For more information, please visit

For media / investor inquiries, please contact Dr. BT Slingsby at