Biotech company Upstream Bio has raised $200m in Series A financing round to advance development of new therapeutics for allergic and inflammatory diseases.
OrbiMed and Maruho have jointly led the financing round, which has also seen participation from HBM Healthcare Investments, Access Biotechnology, TCG X, Omega Funds, Decheng Capital, Samsara BioCapital, and Altshuler Shaham Provident Funds.
Upstream Bio intends to use the funds for advancing its lead programme UPB-101, a clinical-stage monoclonal antibody which targets the TSLP receptor.
After the completion of initial clinical and preclinical studies, the company acquired UPB-101 from Astellas.
It has selected asthma as the first indication for the antibody for pursuing additional diseases caused by TSLP-mediated inflammation.
Upstream Bio CEO Samantha Truex said: “Beyond asthma, we plan to pursue additional inflammatory diseases with UPB-101 and explore new additions to our pipeline where we believe we can deliver meaningful outcomes for patients.”
Inhibiting TSLP signalling is a validated mechanism. The signalling occurs upstream of other validated targets like IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-17 and IgE.
Upstream Bio Research and Development head and chief medical officer Aaron Deykin said: “Because TSLP signaling occurs upstream of other targets, we have an opportunity to impact a fundamental aspect of asthma pathobiology.
“Targeting the TSLP receptor is a compelling mechanism, providing the potential to inhibit multiple pathological processes with a single treatment.
“We plan to establish clinical proof-of-concept in asthma, where we believe UPB-101 can deliver meaningful efficacy across a broad spectrum of severe asthma patients regardless of inflammatory phenotype.”
Furthermore, the company plans to use the proceeds from the financing round to build a pipeline of assets to address immune-mediated diseases.