Allergy, inflammation player Allakos reels in $100M series B

Research
Allakos' lead candidate is in the clinic for eosinophilic gastritis, indolent systemic mastocytosis, urticaria and severe allergic conjunctivitis.

Five years after bagging a modest $30 million in series A financing, Allakos has picked up a hefty $100 million from the likes of New Enterprise Associates, Partner Fund Management and Roche Ventures.

The funds will advance San Carlos, California-based Allakos’ pipeline of antibodies developed for the treatment of allergic, inflammatory and proliferative diseases, the company said in a statement.

Allakos’ antibodies work by targeting receptor molecules on the surface of immune effector cells. For example, its lead candidate, AK002 works by singling out the Siglec-8 receptor expressed on eosinophils and mast cells, types of white blood cells.

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AK002 is being evaluated in the clinic for eosinophilic gastritis, indolent systemic mastocytosis (ISM), urticaria and severe allergic conjunctivitis. A second candidate is in preclinical development for immuno-oncology.

“We are excited to welcome a distinguished group of new investors to Allakos and appreciate the support of our existing investors,” said CEO Robert Alexander, Ph.D., in the statement. “The Allakos team is committed to developing antibodies to potentially treat a broad range of conditions for which there are no approved therapies or where treatment options come with undesirable side effects.”

AK002 has gone through two phase 1 studies—one in healthy volunteers and one dose-escalating study in patients with ISM—and is currently in a repeat dose study in patients with ISM.

Current treatments for ISM focus on alleviating symptoms, including the use of antihistamines to tamp down on skin and gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis.