HI-Bio is developing precision therapies for patients with immune-mediated diseases
Company launches with multiple clinical-stage programs and a robust translational toolkit with potential to address multiple diseases with high unmet medical needs
Company funded by ARCH Venture Partners, Monograph Capital, Jeito Capital and others
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., November 1, 2022 – Human Immunology Biosciences (HI-Bio™), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing targeted therapies for patients with severe immune-mediated diseases (IMDs), today announced its launch with $120 million in financing. The company was incubated by ARCH Venture Partners and Monograph Capital, joined by Jeito Capital and unnamed institutional investors and family offices.
Few targeted therapies exist for the autoimmune, allergic and inflammatory diseases that can together be referred to as IMDs. As much as 4 percent of the world’s population may have one of these diseases, representing an enormous health burden. Conventional therapies are generally broad acting, and do not address the root causes of disease. As a result, many patients with IMDs experience limited relief from their symptoms and may experience unnecessary side effects. More than half of people treated with currently available therapies are not in remission. With such large unmet medical needs remaining, the global therapeutic market for these diseases could reach $150 billion by 2025.
“We know the power of precision medicine to achieve better results for patients, and HI-Bio is the first company to combine that approach with a focus on the latest in genetics and immunology for immune-mediated diseases,” said Paul Berns, HI-Bio Chairman and Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners. “HI-Bio is uniquely positioned to lead the transformation in clinical immunology away from one-size-treats-all medicines and to improve the lives of patients through the development of novel, targeted therapies for immune-mediated diseases.”
Many IMDs stem from the dysfunction of cells that make up the immune system, including plasma cells, neutrophils, mast cells and more. These cells are responsible for critical functions and processes, including, for example, the secretion of antibodies, signaling mediators, tissue repair and allergic responses. HI-Bio’s programs apply a precision medicine approach to target, modulate or deplete these cellular drivers of disease with therapeutics.
“We at HI-Bio are an embodiment of the urgent need to develop precision therapies that are more targeted for patients suffering from immune-mediated diseases,” said Travis Murdoch, M.D., CEO of HI-Bio. “Immune-mediated diseases represent a landscape where the scale of unmet need and potential patient benefit is truly enormous. We are grateful to investors like ARCH, Monograph and Jeito, who share our vision for HI-Bio. They see that we have an enormous opportunity to bring an unprecedented degree of precision and creativity to clinical immunology, with all the potential safety and efficacy enhancements that come with our approach.”
HI-Bio’s clinical-stage assets include felzartamab, an anti-CD38 antibody, and HIB210, an anti-C5aR1 antibody. Felzartamab targets a protein expressed on the surface of mature plasma cells whose dysfunction is thought to drive several IMDs. When applied, felzartamab is believed to deplete plasmablasts and plasma cells, resulting in the removal of cells that produce disease-causing autoantibodies. HI-Bio is testing felzartamab for membranous nephropathy (MN) and IgA nephropathy (IgAN), with the potential to be the best-in-class therapy for autoantibody diseases. HIB210 is currently in ongoing Phase 1 safety testing, with anticipated studies in IMDs currently being planned.
Felzartamab and HIB210 were in-licensed through a transaction with MorphoSys in June 2022. HI-Bio holds exclusive worldwide rights for felzartamab, with the exception of Greater China, and exclusive worldwide rights except Greater China and South Korea for HIB210. Terms included a 15 percent equity stake in HI-Bio, milestone payments and single-to low-double-digit royalties on net sales. Both programs are believed to hold potential for expansion in multiple other indications in the IMD landscape. In addition to these programs, HI-Bio is advancing discovery programs targeting the dysfunction of mast cells implicated in several undisclosed indications.
Underlying HI-Bio's clinical pipeline is a toolkit that encompasses human genetics, human immunophenotyping, data sciences and therapeutic engineering. This discovery toolkit leverages emerging insights from research and development efforts to profile the immune phenotypes that drive IMDs. The toolkit will allow HI-Bio to rapidly advance its programs from early discovery through clinical development and can be applied to virtually all areas of the immune landscape.
HI-Bio’s leadership includes:
- Travis Murdoch, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer;
- Matthew Albert, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Translational Officer;
- Christina Carlson, J.D., as General Counsel;
- Carl Enell as Chief Business Officer;
- Ariella Kelman, M.D., as Senior Vice President of Development;
- Jaideep Dudani, Ph.D., as Head of Portfolio Development;
- Joyce Liaw as Vice President, Finance; and
- Lorna Dean as Vice President, Clinical Operations
HI-Bio’s Board of Directors includes:
- Chairman Paul Berns, Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners;
- Fred Cohen, M.D., D.Phil., Co-Founder and Chairman at Monograph Capital Partners;
- Barbara Krebs-Pohl, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer at MorphoSys;
- Rachel Mears, J.D., Partner at Jeito Capital;
- Mark Murcko, Ph.D., Founding Chief Scientific Officer at Dewpoint Therapeutics and Relay Therapeutics; and
- Carol Suh, Partner at ARCH Venture Partners
In addition to HI-Bio's executive team and Board, the company will benefit from the expertise of several accomplished scientific advisors. The company’s Scientific Advisory Board includes Mark Daly, Ph.D., Founding Chief of the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital; John Davis, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., former Senior Vice President, Head of Early Clinical Development at Pfizer; Chris Goodnow, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research; Stefan Härtle, Ph.D., Head of Clinical Pharmacology at MorphoSys; Kristin Hogquist, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota; Brian Kotzin, M.D., Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Head of Immunology at Nektar Therapeutics; John Lowe, M.D., former Senior Director of Pathology at Genentech; Andrew Luster, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Gregg Silverman, M.D., Mamdouha S. Bobst Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health.
Human Immunology Biosciences, Inc. (HI-Bio™) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing precision medicines for people suffering from immune-mediated diseases (IMDs). HI-Bio is leading clinical immunology into its next chapter with more targeted therapies that target cellular drivers of disease. To learn more about HI-Bio, visit us at www.hibio.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.