UK-based Vectura Group has signed an agreement with Kinaset Therapeutics to develop and commercialise a preclinical inhaled pan-JAK inhibitor for the treatment of severe asthma.

Under this agreement, the therapeutic candidate – VR588 – will be taken into phase I studies, with the goal of advancing the drug through to commercialisation.

Previously, Vectura has developed VR588 as part of its former speciality pharma pipeline – through its agreement with Kinaset, the company will be able to ‘realise value’ from its prior research into the therapeutic.

“We look forward to working closely with Kinaset to support their development of this product, with the potential to bring a new treatment option to asthma patients in the future,” said Will Downie, chief executive officer of Vectura.

“This agreement is in line with our CDMO strategy to leverage our deep expertise, built through years of research in inhaled drug development, to help customers bring new inhaled therapies to market,” he added.

Vectura will provide a fee to Kinaset for service development expertise to formulate the VR588 product, which will be designed as an inhaled product for severe asthma through a dry powder device.

Vectura will also grant a license to Kinaset to develop and commercialise VR588, in return for development and sales milestones, as well as future royalties.

Kinaset will also be able to pursue VR588 products in additional indication, with Vectura being entitled to receive milestone payments and royalties on any resulting products.