NEWTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Abcuro, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer through precise modulation of cytotoxic T and NK cells, today announced the successful close of an oversubscribed $155 million Series B financing co-led by Redmile Group and Bain Capital Life Sciences.
New and existing investors also participated in the financing including RA Capital Management, Samsara BioCapital, Sanofi Ventures, New Leaf Ventures, Pontifax, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, LLC, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Mass General Brigham Ventures, Eurofarma, and Soleus Capital.
“Support from such a strong group of investors will allow us to complete our development programs in diseases where there are few to no treatment options available,” said Alex Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Abcuro. “We are very motivated by the patients we serve and are excited by the clinical data we’ve seen to date. We’re committed to executing on our clinical trials including our registrational trial in inclusion body myositis.”
Abcuro will use the proceeds from the financing to complete a Phase 2/3 registrational clinical trial evaluating ABC008, a first-in-class monoclonal antibody targeting killer cell lectin like receptor G1 (KLRG1), for the treatment of inclusion body myositis (IBM). The Company will also focus on completing a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of ABC008 in T cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia (T-LGLL), as well as initiating a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in T and NK cell lymphomas.
“IBM, like other autoimmune diseases, is progressive and devastating for patients. Targeting the depletion of cytotoxic T cells that express KLRG1 with ABC008 is a novel approach that has generated exciting early data in patients with IBM,” said H. Jeffrey Wilkins, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Abcuro. “These data are also supportive of using ABC008 in other diseases like T-LGLL in which cytotoxic T cells are pathogenic, and mature T and NK cell lymphomas in which KLRG1 expressing cells are malignant. We look forward to further advancing these programs in the clinic.”
Killer cell lectin like receptor G1 (KLRG1) is an immune checkpoint cell surface receptor selectively expressed on late-differentiated effector memory (TEM) and effector (TEMRA) T cells. In autoimmune disease, highly cytotoxic T cells that drive disease progression express KLRG1. Conversely, in cancer, tumor cells expressing ligands that bind to the KLRG1 receptor inhibit effector T cells and natural killer (NK) cells and downregulate anti-tumor immunity. KLRG1 is, therefore, a compelling target in immune modulation in both autoimmune diseases and cancer as it enables the precise targeting of clinically relevant cytotoxic T and NK cells, while sparing naïve, central memory and regulatory T cells which are required to maintain normal immune system homeostasis.
ABC008 is a first-in-class anti-KLRG1 antibody capable of selectively depleting highly cytotoxic T cells, while sparing naïve, regulatory and central memory T cells. ABC008 has been designed to treat diseases mediated by highly cytotoxic T cells, including the autoimmune muscle disease inclusion body myositis (IBM), T cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia (T-LGLL), and mature T cell malignancies. ABC008 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2/3 registrational trial for inclusion body myositis (IBM) and in a Phase 1/2 trial for T cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have granted Orphan Designation to ABC008 for the treatment of IBM.
Abcuro, based in Newton MA, is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer through precise modulation of highly cytotoxic T and NK cells. The company is conducting two clinical trials in rare diseases: a Phase 2/3 registrational trial evaluating ABC008 in inclusion body myositis (IBM,) and a Phase 1/2 trial evaluating ABC008 in T cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia. For more information, visit us on LinkedIn and at abcuro.com.