Artax Biopharma Closes $26M Financing Round

Artax Biopharma

Funding of $26M was raised by Artax Biopharma, a Cambridge-based company in clinical-stage biotechnology.

The round was led by Eli Lilly and Company and Sound Bioventures with participation from Advent Life Sciences, Columbus Venture Partners and Belinda Termeer and other shareholders.

The funds will be used to develop AX-158 (its first oral small-molecule immunomodulator agent).

Led by Joseph Lobacki, Chief Executive Officer, Artax Biopharma is a clinical-stage biotechnology company transforming T Cell-mediated disease treatment by developing innovative small molecules that modulate the immune system. Artax science holds broad potential to treat T Cell-mediated diseases such as autoimmune diseases; induced T cell pathologies (such as acute graft-versus-host disease and immune-oncology treatment-related adverse events); and T Cell malignancies, while simultaneously allowing the body to fight foreign pathogens.

AX-158, an oral small molecule immunomodulating drug in clinical development, is a first-in class agent for treating T Cell-mediated disorders. It has a unique mechanism of action that selectively modifies inappropriate T cell activation, which is a leading cause of autoimmune diseases. AX-158 could be used to treat T Cell-mediated disorders without immunosuppression. Artax’s ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial is assessing the safety, exposure, and pharmacokinetics of AX-158 in healthy volunteers and includes ex vivo stimulated measures of its pharmacodynamic activity. In preclinical studies, AX-158 demonstrated potential to treat T Cell-mediated diseases by decreasing key cytokines including INFγ, TNFα, IL-2, IL-1 and IL-6 in whole human blood samples.

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