Rare Daily Staff

Cabaletta Bio raised $75 million in an initial public offering to advance its experimental therapy for the rare autoimmune disorder mucosal pemphigus vulgaris.

The company sold 6.8 million shares at $11 a share, which was a deep discount to the company’s hoped for range of $14 to $16 per share. The stock will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol CABA.

Cabaletta, a spinout from the University of Pennsylvania, is focused on the discovery and development of engineered T cell therapies for patients with B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. Its lead program that is being studied as a potential treatment for a prototypical B cell-mediated autoimmune disease, mucosal pemphigus vulgaris (mPV).

Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune disorder that involves blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. It occurs almost exclusively in middle-aged or older people. Many cases begin with blisters in the mouth, followed by skin blisters that may come and go. In most cases, the exact cause of pemphigus vulgaris is unknown.  It has rarely been observed in multiple members of the same family. Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and preventing complications. Severe cases are treated similarly to severe burns.

Cabaletta’s technology, which is based on CAR T cell technology developed at UPenn, utilizes Chimeric AutoAntibody Receptor (CAAR) T cells that are designed to selectively bind and eliminate only specific autoantibody-producing B cells while sparing normal antibody-producing B cells, which are essential for human health.

Cabaletta Bio was founded by UPenn physician/scientists Michael Milone, Aimee Payne, and Steven Nichtberger. Nichtberger serves as CEO. The biotech has an exclusive global licensing agreement and multiple sponsored research agreements with UPenn to develop CAAR T technology to treat B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. Both UPenn and the founders have equity stakes in the company.

Photo: Cabaletta founder and CEO Steven Nichtberger

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