Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Nimbus Therapeutics raises $65m in new capital to expand discovery efforts

Published 06 June 2018

Nimbus Therapeutics has raised $65m in new capital to accelerate its pipeline progress and fuel its expansion into new high-value targets aimed at overlapping biological mechanisms in immunology, oncology and metabolic disease.

Each of the company’s current investors participated in the financing, including Atlas Venture, SR One, Lilly Ventures, Bill Gates, Pfizer Venture Investments, Lightstone Ventures, and Schrödinger.

Bruce Booth, Partner of Atlas Venture, Board Chair and co-founder of Nimbus noted, “this round of investment reflects the existing syndicate’s strong and enthusiastic support for Nimbus’ proven management team and exciting new programs.”

“The continued support from our world-class investor base is testament to our team’s repeated success in designing and developing promising candidates through our unique combination of massive computational-chemistry horsepower with founding partner, Schrödinger, coupled with additional cutting-edge technologies in structural biology, cryo-EM, and machine learning-augmented ADMET prediction to rapidly advance our pipeline to the clinic,” said Don Nicholson, chief executive officer.

“We have made substantial progress across our entire portfolio, including inhibitors of Tyk2 (tyrosine kinase 2) and antagonists of STING (stimulator of interferon genes), both under our immunology alliance with Celgene.

“Additionally, our wholly owned STING agonist program has generated novel, highly potent, bona fide small molecules with compelling preclinical data.”

Tyk2 is an important signal-transduction kinase for key pro-inflammatory cytokine receptors, including IL-23, IL-12 and interferons α and β.

As a result, Tyk2 is a key target for the treatment of several challenging auto-immune disorders, including SLE (lupus), Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and others. In addition, some cancers, like T-ALL, appear to be driven by Tyk2 hyper-activation and are responsive to Tyk2 inhibition. Nimbus’ Tyk2 program is partnered under the immunology alliance with Celgene.

STING agonism (turning STING “on”) plays a key role in anti-tumor immunity by activation of the innate immune system and induction of the Type-I interferon response, leading to recruitment and activation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes that attack tumor cells.

STING agonism provokes anti-tumor responses alone, and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors and cell therapy. Further, STING agonists have been shown to provide benefit in areas of virology, such as efforts to achieve HIV cure. STING antagonists (turning STING “off”) may have therapeutic potential in Type-I interferonopathies, such as SLE (lupus), where STING drives an exaggerated interferon response. Nimbus’ STING antagonist program is partnered under the immunology alliance with Celgene, while the STING agonist program remains wholly owned by Nimbus.

Source: Company Press Release