IgGenix, a San Francisco-based biotech company, announced yesterday they had secured $40 million in Series B funding to bring a peanut allergy candidate to clinical trials. The therapy is the first derived from their SeqSifter™ platform which allows the company to isolate and study single cells and sequence their RNA.
When allergic reactions strike, the body’s immune system produces elevated levels of IgE antibodies that trigger a cascade of symptoms ranging from itch to anaphylactic shock. The basis of IgGenix’s treatment is to isolate specific IgE antibodies and reengineer them into IgG antibodies that block the cascade.
If all goes as planned, the company will engage phase Ia/Ib studies with their peanut allergy therapy next year. However, CEO Jessica Grossman told Endpoints News the company is planning to “fill out our pipeline in allergy to at least one other program.” The company’s website targets a variety of potential food allergens, including shellfish, dairy, wheat, and tree nuts, and even non-food-related allergies, such as animal and pollen.
Unlike oral immunotherapy (OIT) which requires a long process to build tolerance, Grossman claims their therapy will work “almost immediately.”
Here follows the press release in its entirety.
IgGenix Announces First Close of $40M Series B Financing to Accelerate Lead Antibody Program in Peanut Allergy
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – February 6th, 2023 – IgGenix, Inc., a pre-clinical biotechnology company taking a revolutionary approach to directly address allergic disease, today announced its first close on a $40M Series B financing to advance its lead program in peanut allergy to the clinic. The funding round was led by Alexandria Venture Investments and includes new investor Eli Lilly and Company, as well as existing investors Khosla Ventures, Sean Parker, AllerFund and others.
In addition, Joel S. Marcus, executive chairman and founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments, has joined the IgGenix Board of Directors. “Food allergies impact approximately 32 million people in the United States and over 200 million people globally, varying in intensity from person to person and underscoring a vast unmet medical need for new, innovative treatments,” said Mr. Marcus. “Alexandria Venture Investments is constantly looking for promising therapeutic platforms with potential to become novel medicines that positively impact the lives of people around the world. IgGenix is at the forefront of allergy immunology, and I am honored to join the company’s board to help advance its compelling pipeline of antibody development programs addressing immune targets.”
The proceeds will be used to advance IgGenix’s lead program to Phase 1 human clinical trials and expand the company’s discovery platform to encompass additional IgE-mediated disease beyond allergy.
“At IgGenix, we are taking a revolutionary approach to identify and re-engineer allergen-specific antibodies designed to prevent severe allergic reactions,” said Jessica Grossman, M.D., CEO of IgGenix. “I am grateful for the strong support of our current and new investors who share the IgGenix vision of changing the face of allergic disease, and I am delighted to welcome Joel Marcus of Alexandria to our Board of Directors. Joel’s extensive insights into company building and his decades of experience working with preeminent life science companies at all stages of development will add tremendous value to IgGenix.”
IgGenix was co-founded by Stephen Quake, D.Phil., Kari Nadeau, M.D., Ph.D., and Derek Croote, Ph.D. of Stanford University, on the concept that the potent immunological adaptations underlying severe allergies can create the foundational development of innovative, first-in-class antibody therapeutics. Using cutting-edge single-cell genomics to isolate rare IgE-producing B cells through SEQ SIFTER™, IgGenix takes a novel approach to addressing severe allergic reactions by re-engineering IgE monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to block and even prevent allergic reactions.
IgGenix is a privately held antibody discovery and development company taking a revolutionary approach to directly address severe allergies. Through our proprietary SEQ SIFTER™ discovery platform, developed from the foundational research of co-founders Stephen Quake, Kari Nadeau and Derek Croote of Stanford University, IgGenix isolates and re-engineers fully human, high-affinity, allergen-specific IgG antibodies designed to block and prevent the allergic cascade. By targeting common immunodominant allergens and their most immunodominant epitopes across the patient population, we intend to treat allergic pediatric and adult patients alike across severe food and environmental allergies. This novel approach may prevent life-threatening allergic reactions, saving lives and reducing the constant fear that affects millions of people living with severe allergies.
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