Apple Tree helps Big Apple biotech Syntimmune in $50M series B

The New York biotech says it plans to post data from its leading candidate next year.

New York biotech Syntimmune has got off a beefy $50 million series B round as it looks to use the funds for its FcRn biology tests.

This latest round, coming after last year’s $26 million series A financing pot, saw the lion’s share of funding from Apple Tree Partners; the cash will go toward its two leading and ongoing phase 1b/2a studies for SYNT001 in pemphigus and warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Its series A was co-led by Apple Tree Partners and Baxalta Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Baxalta (now merged into Shire), with participation by the Partners Innovation Fund and additional investors.

Its leading light, SYNT001, is a mAb that blocks the FcRn-IgG interaction and is being developed for the treatment of a broad variety of IgG-mediated autoimmune diseases. The cash pot will also be used toward manufacturing scale-up for registration trials, the startup says, as it plans to report SYNT001 clinical data by early next year.

FcRn is a central mediator of IgG-related immunity and part of an important pathway that enables abnormal IgG responses in a large number of clinical settings, including autoimmune disease.

There are currently no commercially available therapies designed to block IgG-FcRn interactions, which underlie diseases that affect multiple organ systems and for which there are continuing substantial medical needs, such as inflammatory bowel disease, lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis and others.

The biotech is also working on its second candidate, SYNT002, as well as “additional research activities.”

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“FcRn-targeted therapies have potential application to a broad range of diseases for which there often are limited treatment options and few or no FDA-approved therapies,” said Sam Hall, Ph.D., of Apple Tree Partners, in a release. “The rapid clinical advances at Syntimmune have been shepherded by a highly accomplished and experienced team and build upon breakthrough translational science originating from the laboratory of Richard Blumberg, M.D., Syntimmune’s scientific founder. We are excited by this progress and look forward to the continued advancement of SYNT001 through the company’s ongoing phase 1b/2a studies and beyond.”

David de Graaf, Ph.D., formerly at Apple Tree as well as an executive at Pfizer and Boehringer, and now Syntimmune’s new president and CEO, added: “We are grateful for the continuing support of our engaged investor syndicate. This funding will further increase the momentum of our clinical development program. Based on this progress, we anticipate announcing the first clinical data from our Phase 1b/2a program and other translational research findings by early next year. Syntimmune is poised to maintain its position as the leader in FcRn biology as we plan for rapid expansion into pivotal studies and additional indications.”