AltruBio Raises $225M in Series B to Advance Ulcerative Colitis Candidate

Ulcerative Colitis

Pictured: Young man hugging his belly suffering from stomach pain while lying in bad at home/iStock, samael334

San Francisco-based biotech AltruBio has raised $225 million in an oversubscribed Series B round, the company announced Tuesday. The financing will help the company advance its ulcerative colitis candidate into mid-stage clinical trials. 

AltruBio’s candidate ALTB-268 is a first-in-class immune checkpoint enhancer (ICE) PSGL agonist antibody that is currently in a Phase IIa exploratory biomarker study in patients with biologic refractory ulcerative colitis (UC). The readout for the Phase IIa’s primary endpoint of clinical remission per modified Mayo score is expected sometime in the first half of next year.

The Series B funds will support the trial and a Phase IIb study, which will have a primary endpoint of clinical remission in advanced therapy experienced and treatment naïve patients with moderate to severe UC. The biotech expects a readout in the second half of 2026. 

The Phase I data for ALTB-268 was encouraging as AltruBio reported positive topline data in August 2023. While the company initially gave no hard data points, the data supported the candidate’s progression into Phase II studies. 

“With this substantial investment, we are one step closer to bringing our first-in-class, novel immune checkpoint enhancer, ALTB-268, through our ongoing Phase IIa exploratory biomarker study and initiating an additional Phase IIb study while paving the way for potential indication expansion beyond ulcerative colitis,” AltruBio CEO Judy Chou said in a statement.

The funding round was led by BVF Partners LP and had contributions from new investors, including RA Capital Management, Cormorant Asset Management and Soleus Capital. Existing investors who participated in the Series B included Blackstone Multi-Asset Investing and aMoon Fund. 

Formerly known as AbGenomics Holding, the biotech rebranded to AltruBio in 2020. This was due to a “refocusing” of its management and an overall pivot to the autoimmune disease sector. AbGenomics was focused on oncology for a time but halted the Phase I development for one of its candidates in several forms of cancer. 

The biotech received a $63 million Series A in 2021 to support its development of assets for immunological diseases. The company also received fast-track designation from the FDA for its drug neihulizumab in steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD).

AltruBio is not the only immunology-focused biotech that has secured significant funding this year. In March 2024, precision medicine startup Mirador Therapeutics launched with a $400 million war chest to advance several therapeutic programs targeting immune-mediated inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

Earlier this month, Attovia Therapeutics raised $105 million in a Series B to advance several candidates to treat immune-mediated diseases, atopic dermatitis and other pruritic diseases. 

Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at tyler.patchen@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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