Investment Surges in Immunology Boost AltruBio’s Prospects

Inflammatory disease research has surged as a focal point in drug development, with 2024 witnessing eight major buyouts of immune drug developers, surpassing oncology mergers and acquisitions. Notable deals include Merck's $10.8 billion acquisition of Prometheus Biosciences and Roche's $7.1 billion acquisition of Telavant. This heightened interest has extended to startups, with companies like Acelyrin, Apogee Therapeutics, and Kyverna Therapeutics launching significant initial public offerings. Lycia Therapeutics, Capstan Therapeutics, and Mirador Therapeutics have all raised more than $100 million in investment rounds in just the first half of 2024.

Significantly benefiting from this investment surge is AltruBio. Following a rebranding and the appointment of Judy Chou, a former executive at Pfizer and Bayer, as CEO, the business has raised around $300 million. The addition of Jesse Hall, an ex-Amgen executive, and Jeroen Grasman, who has over a decade of experience at Roche, to its C-suite has further bolstered its leadership. AltruBio's lead drug, ALTB-268, is a promising treatment for autoimmune conditions like ulcerative colitis. Unlike cancer therapies that activate the immune system, ALTB-268 aims to restore immune balance without broadly suppressing defenses. With a Phase 2a study underway, results are anticipated in the first half of next year, and a Phase 2b trial is planned for 2026.

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