This financing will advance the preclinical development of their programs in autoimmunity and immuno-oncology.
Cambridge, MA – Abcuro, a leading biotechnology company focused on immunology therapeutics, announced the completion of a $8M Series A financing round. Partners Innovation Fund, Kaitai Capital, and ShangPharma Innovation all contributed to the round. The proceeds from this financing will be used to advance the preclinical development of Abcuro’s programs in autoimmunity and immuno-oncology.
Abcuro is developing novel first in class therapeutics in immunology. Clinician founder Steven A. Greenberg, MD, identifies biological components of autoimmune disease and immunological response to cancer through bioinformatics and clinical disease observation. These insights lead to identification of novel drug targets expressed by discrete subpopulations of the immune system that can be modulated for therapeutic uses.
“By specifically targeting clinically important subpopulations of the immune system, we aim to improve patient outcomes while reducing side effects common to many immunomodulatory drugs,” said Steven A. Greenberg, MD, who also serves as a neuromuscular disease specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “The autoimmune therapies are specifically designed to help patients with certain refractory diseases driven by highly differentiated cytotoxic lymphocytes, including inclusion body myositis, while the cancer therapies leverage knowledge gained from the autoimmunity programs to reactivate untapped immune response. By focusing on key components of pathogenesis or immune populations missed by current therapeutics, these programs may provide an effective treatment for patients not adequately served by today’s therapeutic options.”
Abcuro’s lead autoimmunity program is under development for inclusion body myositis (IBM) and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). IBM is an autoimmune condition in which cytotoxic T cells attack muscle. Patients suffering from IBM have no reliably effective drug treatments currently available to them. This therapeutic will also be investigated for the treatment of PBC, an autoimmune condition in which pathogenic T cells attack bile ducts. While treatments addressing symptoms of PBC are available, there are significant side effects with the current standard of care, and no therapeutics treat the autoimmune cause of the disease.
Abcuro is led by CEO Stefano Gulla, a seasoned scientific leader with
in-depth experience driving programs in autoimmunity and
immuno-oncology. “At Abcuro, we have uncovered a new generation of immuno-modulatory targets,” said CEO, Stefano Gulla PhD. “By integrating bioinformatic data mining of large expression datasets with direct clinical observations, we identify targets that uniquely align with tissue resident effector memory T cells. The key advantage of our programs is the specific modulation of antigen-experienced immune cells. Over the past two years, we validated our approach both in vitro and in vivo and completed selection of candidate molecules that can now progress toward clinical development. Our first-in-class programs should have a far-reaching impact for both autoimmune and immuno-oncology indications.”
Abcuro’s mission is to develop a new generation of immunomodulatory therapeutics for treating both autoimmunity and cancer. The company uses proprietary analysis of transcriptome data from human disease to identify new approaches to target key compartments of the immune system. Abcuro was launched in 2016 and is based in Newton, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit abcuro.com.
ABOUT PARTNERS INNOVATION FUND
Partners Innovation Fund was created in 2008 to advance new science and technology based on discovery and invention originating in the Partners HealthCare System (“Partners”). Partners is the largest academic research organization in the US and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School with an annual research expenditure of $1.7 billion.
ABOUT SHANGPHARMA INNOVATION
ShangPharma Innovation Inc. is a healthcare venture capital firm that accelerates and facilitates pharmaceutical discovery and development. With a focus on therapeutics and technology platforms, ShangPharma Innovation offers funding, incubator space and other support to its ecosystem of portfolio companies, collaborators and partners. This includes sponsoring biotech start-ups and proof-of-concept research at major academic and medical centers and research institutes. ShangPharma Innovation maintains active research partnerships with University of California San Francisco; The Scripps Research Institute and the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) in La Jolla, Calif.; and the nonprofit research center SRI International. For more information, see http://www.spiivc.com.
ABOUT KAITAI CAPITAL
Kaitai Capital is a China-based venture capital firm. It was funded in 2009 and currently has 50 billion RMB under its management. Kaitai Capital is committed to identifying and supporting innovation in biotech, data technology and artificial intelligence, and other emerging technology sectors in the US and China, and innovation in the business model of consumer business in China.