It has been five years since Allakos had brought in a modest $30 million in a series A financing, and now the biotech has brought in more funding from a series B. A substantial $100 million was generated from the likes of New Enterprise Associates, Partner Fund Management as well as Roche Ventures.
The company said in a statement that the newest funding round will progress the California-based Allakos’ pipeline of antibodies which were developed for the treatment of allergic, inflammatory and proliferative diseases.
Allakos’ antibodies function by aiming for receptor molecules on the surface of immune effector cells. For instance, the company’s lead candidate, AK002 functions by singling out the Siglec-8 receptor expressed on eosinophils and mast cells, which are types of white blood cells. AK002 is current being assessed in the clinic for eosinophilic gastritis, indolent systemic mastocytosis (ISM), urticaria as well as severe allergic conjunctivitis. The biotech also has a second candidate that is in preclinical development for immuno-oncology.
“We are excited to welcome a distinguished group of new investors to Allakos and appreciate the support of our existing investors,” said CEO Robert Alexander, Ph.D., in the statement.
Alexander added, “The Allakos team is committed to developing antibodies to potentially treat a broad range of conditions for which there are no approved therapies or where treatment options come with undesirable side effects”.
AK002 has completed two phase 1 studies. One of which was in healthy volunteers and the other a dose-escalating study in patients with ISM, and is presently in a repeat dose study in patients with ISM. The current treatments for ISM only focus on alleviating symptoms and include the use of antihistamines to cut back on skin and gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as epinephrine for the treatment of anaphylaxis.