RARE Daily

Abcuro Raises $42 Million to Develop Immune Modulating Therapies

January 7, 2021

Rare Daily Staff

Abcuro said it closed a $42 million series A-1 financing to advance development of its pipeline of therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer through precise modulation of cytotoxic T and NK cells.

Mass General Brigham Ventures and Sanofi Ventures co-led the financing, with participation by Pontifax Venture Capital, Hongsen Investment Group, RA Capital Management, Samsara BioCapital, as well as other investors.

The company also appointed John Edwards as the executive chair of the board of directors and David de Graaf as CEO. Both have extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry—Edwards involved in the development or commercialization of ten FDA approved biologics and successful exits at eight of the ten biotech companies he helped to build, and de Graaf most recently as CEO of Comet Therapeutics and prior to that as CEO of Syntimmune.

Proceeds from this financing will be used to advance ABC008, an anti-KLRG1 antibody designed to deplete cytotoxic T cells that attack healthy tissue in a variety of autoimmune diseases. A first-in-human proof of mechanism and safety trial will be conducted in patients with sporadic inclusion body myositis (IBM) while additional indications are under investigation.

IBM is a rare, chronic, and debilitating inflammatory skeletal muscle condition with no available pharmaceutical therapies. Sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) is rare autoimmune disease mediated by cytotoxic T cells, but the exact cause of the disorder is unknown. Characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration especially in the arms and legs that becomes apparent during adulthood. sIBM can progress to cause severe disability.

Proceeds from the financing will also support ongoing preclinical development of the company’s oncology program ABC015, an anti-KLRG1 blocking antibody capable of restoring effector cytotoxic T and NK cell function, resulting in a potent anti-tumor response. This includes financial and scientific support by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to assess ABC015 in multiple myeloma.

“KLRG1 is a compelling target in immune modulation in both autoimmune diseases and cancer as it allows us to precisely target clinically relevant cytotoxic T and NK cells,” said de Graaf.

Photo: David de Graaf, CEO of Abcuro



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