Apollo lands $226M series C for mysterious pipeline spread across hub-and-spoke R&D model

Apollo Therapeutics is launching its series C flight with $226.5 million, money that will bolster its hub-and-spoke approach to drug development encompassing 20-plus pipeline programs that remain largely under wraps.  

The latest financing round—which follows a $145 million series B in 2021—was commanded by Patient Square Capital and included participation by M&G plc, Rock Springs Capital and two unnamed U.S. public pension plans.

The U.K.- and U.S.-based portfolio company will use the new money to advance its pipeline programs, which rest in Apollo’s core areas of cell signaling, cell stress response and immunology—though the company has stayed mostly mum on specifics.

One of Apollo’s known assets is an immunology drug picked up from Avalo Therapeutics—formerly known as Cerecor—last summer. Apollo paid out $15 million cash and offered up $74 million in biobucks for the IL-18 monoclonal antibody, dubbed camoteskimab. At the time, the therapy was being assessed in a phase 1b trial for adult-onset Still's disease, a rare type of inflammatory arthritis that causes fevers, rash and joint pain.

“Apollo has built a broad and diversified pipeline focused on major commercial markets and this latest fundraising enables us to take our most advanced programs to key clinical value inflection points,” Apollo CEO Richard Mason said in a Sept. 6 release.

The series C will also help Apollo license or acquire more clinical-stage programs of interest, according to the company.

Apollo launched in January 2016 as a joint venture between Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Cambridge and currently has landing spots in Cambridge, U.K., Boston and Chicago.  

The company has a scalable R&D platform and houses assets in separate, wholly owned subsidiary companies, a strategy Apollo says helps mitigate risk through its diversified portfolio and subsequently attracts a wider investor base.

The series C is one of the larger fundraises of 2023 thus far, a year mired by challenging market conditions for many. However, a few biotechs have managed to raise even more, such as ElevateBio, which raked in an eye-popping $401 million this May.