Sanofi-backed Sudo scores $116M for TYK2 MS, psoriasis candidates

With Sanofi Ventures in tow, Sudo Biosciences has secured $116 million to advance programs in multiple sclerosis and psoriasis into the clinic.

The series B financing was co-led by Patient Square Capital’s Enavate Sciences and TPG, with the latter investing through its Life Sciences Innovations arm and The Rise Fund. New backers Sanofi Ventures, Citadel’s Surveyor Capital, Monograph Capital and Eventide Asset Management also joined previous investors Frazier Life Sciences and Velosity Capital for the round.

The fresh nine-figure haul is a far jump from Sudo’s $37 million series A raised in September 2022. Since its inception in 2020, the company has collected a total of $157 million.

The newest funds will go toward the biotech’s investigational precision tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitors, two of which Sudo plans to advance into clinical testing in 2024. One is a potential first-in-class brain-penetrant program designed to treat both the relapsing and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis, as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The investigational MS drug space has taken quite a few hits in recent days, with Merck KGaA’s BTK inhibitor evobrutinib failing to beat Sanofi’s Aubagio in two phase 3 clinical trials, raising doubts about the prospects of a clutch of heavily backed rival candidates from companies like Biogen and Novartis.

Meanwhile, Genentech revealed that its U.S. study assessing BTK inhibitor fenebrutinib was placed on a partial clinical hold by the FDA. The Roche unit said that the agency paused fenebrutinib’s phase 3 clinical program as a result of two recent cases of elevated liver enzymes. The patients did not experience symptoms and have returned to normal levels after treatment was discontinued.

Sudo believes it can treat the chronic disease by instead targeting TYK2, a key mediator in cytokine signaling pathways that have been linked to a range of immune-mediated inflammatory conditions.

The other candidate Sudo hopes to move to the clinic next year is a potential first-in-class topical TYK2 inhibitor for psoriasis and other dermatologic diseases.

The Carmel, Indiana-based biotech also touts an ophthalmic topical discovery program that it is actively seeking a partner for, according to the company’s site.