Appetite for allergies: Alladapt banks $119M to push immunotherapy through trials

Alladapt Immunotherapeutics has refilled the bank balance with $119 million in institutional financing from the likes of Novartis, which will be used to follow the biotech's dream of developing the first FDA-approved therapy to treat the majority of food allergy patients.

Specifically, the privately-held company will use the funding to move its lead and only candidate ADP101 into pivotal clinical trials, as well as build out a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania and expand its pipeline.

ADP101 has been designed to treat food allergies triggered by either single or multiple proteins from the nine food groups responsible for the vast majority of significant food allergic reactions globally. The oral immunotherapy, which is based on research from Stanford University, is currently undergoing a phase 1/2 trial.

“The challenges of food allergy can be particularly difficult for patients who have allergies to many foods,” said Alladapt CEO Ashley Dombkowski, Ph.D, in a statement. “Treatment options are urgently needed, and we believe ADP101 holds immense promise as a therapeutic modality targeting clinically meaningful allergen desensitization.”

Alladapt was co-founded in 2018 by biotech entrepreneur Dombkowski along with allergist and protein biochemist Kari Nadeau, M.D., Ph.D., who is director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University.

Peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish comprise the food allergies most associated with fatal and near-fatal food-induced anaphylaxis, Alladapt noted in a previous release last year. The current treatment standard for the vast majority of the estimated 32 million Americans with food allergies is to simply avoid those dishes, the company said at the time. There are no FDA-approved therapies to treat the “majority” of food allergy patients, Alladapt added.

Today’s financing round was led by Patient Square Capital-created Enavate Sciences, with additional input from Alladapt’s founding investor Gurnet Point Capital and new investors Allerfund, Novartis, Red Tree Venture Capital and WestRiver Group.

George Montgomery, consultant to WestRiver Group, and Patient Square Capital managing partner Jim Momtazee will join Alladapt’s board of directors. Heath Lukatch, Ph.D., founder and managing partner of Red Tree Venture Capital, will become a board observer.