Calluna Launches with $81.3 Million to Develop Novel Therapies for Inflammatory and Fibrotic Diseases
January 23, 2024
Rare Daily Staff
Oxitope Pharma and Arxx Therapeutics, European biotechs with a shared goal of leveraging the innate immune system to discover and develop disease modulating therapies, are merging to form Calluna Pharma with $81.3 million (€75 million) in a series A financing from existing lead investors, Forbion, Sarsia, p53, and Investinor.
The new company will combine expertise in the field of innate immunity, based on damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), with a pipeline of selective antibodies that target inflammatory and fibrotic indications, including several first-in-class clinical candidates.
“In joining forces, these two key players in the innate immunology space have created an exciting new clinical company that has four promising therapies in its pipeline with excellent preclinical proof-of-concept data,” said John Montana, CEO of Calluna Pharma.
Calluna has developed a robust pipeline of selective antibodies, targeting immunological diseases. These include novel therapeutic candidates that fulfil unmet clinical needs across a spectrum of diseases, driven by acute or chronic inflammation and non-resolving tissue fibrosis. Calluna says its clinical candidates with superior efficacy, improved patient tolerance, and minimal adverse side effects which have real potential to redefine patient outcomes.
The company has four promising therapies in its pipeline. Its clinical stage lead program, CAL101, is a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the bioactivity of S100A4, a DAMP protein implicated in serious and life-threatening diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe (steroid insensitive) asthma. CAL102 is a monoclonal antibody neutralizing oxidized phospholipids – these play a significant role in onset and progression of a wide range of acute and chronic inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. CAL102 has demonstrated efficacy in several preclinical disease models.
Photo: John Montana, CEO of Calluna Pharma
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