RARE Daily

J&J Enter Collaborations with Rallybio, Makes Equity Investment

April 11, 2024

Rallybio said it has entered into a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson to support the development of complementary therapeutic approaches aimed at reducing the risk of fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.
In addition, Rallybio received an equity investment of $6.6 million from Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a potentially life-threatening rare disease that can cause uncontrolled bleeding in fetuses and newborns. FNAIT can arise during pregnancy due to an immune incompatibility between an expectant mother and her fetus in a platelet antigen. When alloimmunization occurs in an expectant mother, the antibodies that develop in the mother can cross the placenta and destroy platelets in the fetus. The destruction of platelets in the fetus can result in severely low platelet counts, or thrombocytopenia, and potentially lead to devastating consequences including miscarriage, stillbirth, death of the newborn, or severe lifelong neurological disability in those babies who survive. There is currently no approved therapy for the prevention or prenatal treatment of FNAIT.

Rallybio is developing RLYB212, a novel human monoclonal anti-HPA-1a antibody designed to prevent pregnant individuals from alloimmunizing, thereby eliminating the risk of fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) and its potentially devastating consequences in their fetuses and newborns. Rallybio is on track to initiate a Phase 2 dose confirmation study for RLYB212 in pregnant individuals at higher risk of alloimmunization and FNAIT in the second half of 2024.

RLYB212 is the only experimental therapy currently reported to be in clinical development to address the needs of pregnant individuals at risk of FNAIT who have not alloimmunized. Johnson & Johnson is conducting a Phase 3 study of nipocalimab, an investigational monoclonal antibody targeting FcRn, in pregnant individuals who are already alloimmunized. As these individuals have the alloantibodies that can cause FNAIT, preventative treatment with RLYB212 would not be appropriate.
Rallybio is currently conducting a natural history study designed to provide a contemporary dataset for HPA-1a alloimmunization frequency in a racially and ethnically diverse population that is intended to support a future RLYB212 registration study. Pregnant individuals who are already alloimmunized are not eligible for inclusion in Rallybio’s natural history study, nor for potential preventative treatment with Rallybio’s investigational therapeutic, RLYB212.

Under this collaboration, Johnson & Johnson will provide funding for Rallybio to raise awareness of Johnson & Johnson’s FNAIT clinical program in connection with Rallybio’s ongoing FNAIT natural history study. Rallybio is also eligible to receive additional payments under the collaboration.

“Our complementary approaches, if successful, would ensure that pregnant individuals at risk of developing FNAIT have a potential treatment option – regardless of their alloimmunization status,” said Stephen Uden, CEO of Rallybio. “Together, we can more effectively and expeditiously drive awareness of FNAIT, emphasize the importance of screening pregnant individuals for their risk of developing FNAIT, and advance our complementary therapeutic approaches.”

Photo: Stephen Uden, CEO of Rallybio

Stay Connected

Sign up for updates straight to your inbox.