Bay Area Startup Allakos Locks In Another $10 Million
Allakos Inc. Raises Additional $10 Million to Expand its Portfolio and Fund Development of an Additional Antibody for Allergic and Inflammatory Diseases
Chief Medical Officer Appointed to Advance Growing Portfolio; Series A Extension Earmarked for Second Product Candidate Preclinical Development
SAN CARLOS, Calif., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Allakos Inc. announced today that it has secured an additional $10 million investment from current investors to fund development of an additional therapeutic antibody. The additional financing was completed following achievement of a key, pre-specified milestone related to the company's lead antibody program, and represents an extension of the company's Series A preferred stock financing, which closed in December 2012. With this additional financing, Allakos has raised a total of $42 million in the Series A round. All of the company's current investors participated in this additional financing, including Novo Ventures, Alta Partners, RiverVest Venture Partners and the Roche Venture Fund.
"We are pleased to report that we have demonstrated that our lead antibody shows activity in preclinical models and directly affects multiple key cell types involved in inflammation," said Nenad Tomasevic, Allakos Co-founder and Vice President, Research.
"We appreciate the continued confidence placed in our company by our Series A investors," said Christopher Bebbington, Allakos Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. "Following the successful achievement of a key preclinical milestone with our lead program, we are excited to advance another promising antibody into formal preclinical development. These two antibodies form a robust platform that can support clinical development in multiple diseases. Our therapeutic antibodies are designed to work through novel mechanisms of action, to have significant safety and efficacy advantages and to have potential in multiple, high-value markets, including large established indications as well as orphan diseases. The additional funding will enable us to advance two programs towards meaningful near-term milestones."
Peter Moldt, PhD., Partner at Novo Ventures and Chairman of the Allakos board of directors, said: "We believe that Allakos' innovative approach to developing antibody-based therapeutics represents a large and important therapeutic and commercial opportunity. We are delighted with the continued progress of the company and expansion of its development portfolio."
Chief Medical Officer Appointed
Allakos also announced the appointment of Alejandro Dorenbaum, MD, as Chief Medical Officer.
"We are delighted to welcome Alejandro to the Allakos team to lead our clinical development program and advance our growing pipeline of differentiated antibody therapeutics," said Dr. Bebbington. "His broad clinical development expertise will be a valuable asset to our company."
Dr. Dorenbaum received his training in medicine at The National Autonomous University in Mexico City, and his pediatric and allergy immunology training at the University of Texas Health Science Center and at Baylor College of Medicine, respectively. Dr. Dorenbaum joined the faculty of the University of California in San Francisco where he was responsible for a program devoted to clinical research and the care of women and children with HIV infection. Dr. Dorenbaum subsequently worked at Chiron Corporation where he held positions in several areas of drug development, including biologics, small molecules and vaccines. At BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc., he was responsible for the clinical development of Kuvan®, and at Genentech, he was responsible for the respiratory programs in asthma and cystic fibrosis. Dr. Dorenbaum also served as Chief Medical Officer at Lumena Pharmaceutical until its acquisition by Shire. He maintains an active academic position as Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine where he treats patients with allergy and immunological issues.
About Allakos Inc.
Allakos Inc. is a privately held, product-focused biotechnology company developing first-in-class antibody-based therapeutics to treat diseases in which dysregulation of the T-helper type 2 (Th2) immune response plays a key role in pathology, including allergic disease, inflammation and diseases characterized by excess production of inflammatory cells. Allakos has generated a preclinical pipeline of novel antibodies targeting cell types implicated in allergic and inflammatory responses, which it intends to advance to clinical proof-of-concept. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Allakos is led by a management team with broad experience in antibody research and development and a strong advisory board of experts in the areas of disease focus. For more information, please visit www.allakos.com.
About Novo Ventures
Novo is the holding company of the Novo Group, and is wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It was established in 1999 to manage the assets of the foundation and actively make investments on its behalf. Novo Ventures focuses on life sciences venture capital, and is active in both Europe and North America. The firm has four partners in Copenhagen, one in London and four in San Francisco. With an evergreen structure, it annually invests approximately $200 million in venture capital into private life sciences companies. For more information, please visit www.novo.dk.
About Alta Partners
Alta Partners is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on life sciences investing. Founded in 1996, the firm has raised $2 billion in committed capital through eight venture fund programs. Alta invests in life sciences companies across the development continuum, from company formation to later-stage opportunities, and has funded more than 145 companies in the sector to date. For more information, please visit www.altapartners.com.
About RiverVest Venture Partners®
RiverVest Venture Partners is a venture capital firm focused on identifying and shaping early-stage life science companies to create significant shareholder value. Because of its extensive operating expertise, RiverVest is able to help entrepreneurs achieve near-term objectives that position their companies for exit. Established in 2000, RiverVest has funded 30 and exited or taken public 18 innovative life science companies and has assets under management of more than $280 million. For more information, please visit www.rivervest.com.
About the Roche Venture Fund
The Roche Venture Fund invests in innovative biotech and diagnostics companies to develop commercially successful life science companies. Based in Basel with an office in South San Francisco, RVF is the corporate venture fund of the healthcare company Roche. RVF invests globally with a portfolio of over 30 companies in 10 countries. For more information, please visit www.venturefund.roche.com.
SOURCE Allakos Inc.