Company’s first-in-class approach to targeting of signal regulatory proteins (SIRP) enables specific depletion of pathological immune cells
Financing enables lead product candidate, ELA026, to reach clinical proof of concept in the inflammatory disease sHLH, expansion of ELA026 into other indications, and advancement of two additional programs towards the clinic
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 16, 2022 – Electra Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing antibody therapies that target signal regulatory proteins (SIRP), announced today a $84 million Series B financing co-led by Westlake Village BioPartners and OrbiMed. Other participating investors include Redmile Group, Cormorant Asset Management, Cowen Healthcare Investments, RA Capital, and New Leaf Venture Partners. Electra was previously funded by its parent company, Star Therapeutics.
Electra is building a pipeline of novel therapies targeting SIRP, a family of cell surface receptors on various immune cell types. The company is taking a first-in-class approach to engage SIRP beyond the current drug development efforts in cancer, by targeting specific SIRP proteins to deplete targeted pathological immune cells. ELA026, the company’s lead product candidate, exhibits this novel mechanism of action and is currently in Phase 1 clinical studies, including a trial in secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH), a life-threatening inflammatory disease. ELA026 is also advancing in other immunological diseases. In addition, the company’s pipeline includes preclinical programs in immunology and immuno-oncology.
“We are thrilled to introduce Electra and share our novel approach to targeting SIRP,” said Adam Rosenthal, PhD, CEO and Co-founder of Electra. “Our team has made rapid progress advancing our lead product candidate, ELA026, from an idea to the clinic in less than 3 years, and we are excited by each of our three pipeline programs targeting numerous diseases with significant unmet need.”
Proceeds from the financing will be used to continue advancing ELA026 in clinical trials for sHLH and other immunological diseases. The funding will also support advancement of an additional preclinical pipeline program targeting SIRP in immunology, as well as Electra’s immuno-oncology platform that leverages SIRP to promote targeted depletion of tumor cells.
“It is inspiring to see the rapid progress and success of Electra’s pioneering work in targeting SIRP to develop therapies for immunological diseases. ELA026 represents a novel mechanism for targeting diseases driven by aberrant myeloid and T cell activity, and has enormous potential to address life-threatening diseases like sHLH, as well as other severe inflammatory diseases,” said Beth Seidenberg, MD, Founding Managing Director at Westlake Village BioPartners.
Electra’s Board of Directors consists of Beth Seidenberg, MD, Founding Managing Director at Westlake Village BioPartners; Carl Gordon, PhD, CFA, Managing Partner at OrbiMed; Nancy Stagliano, PhD, Executive Board Chair, and Adam Rosenthal, PhD, CEO and Co-founder of Electra. Electra’s Board observers are Amrit Nagpal, Managing Director at Redmile Group and Vijay Lathi, Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners.
“We are impressed by the bold vision of the Electra team which has deep insights into drug discovery and development, and we are pleased to support Electra as they translate their approach with SIRP to patients in need of innovative treatment options,” said Carl Gordon, PhD, CFA, Managing Partner at OrbiMed.
About Secondary Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH)
Secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) is a life-threatening hyperinflammatory condition for which there is no approved treatment. sHLH can be triggered by cancer, immunotherapy, infection, or an autoimmune disease. Once triggered, sHLH requires immediate intervention. Without treatment, it can rapidly progress from symptoms such as persistent fever, hepatomegaly and/or splenomegaly, and cytopenias, to multi-organ failure and death. Even with the current use of off-label treatments that have toxicity challenges and limited efficacy, sHLH remains fatal in approximately 60% of adults within 3.5 years.
About Electra Therapeutics
Electra Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing therapies that target signal regulatory proteins (SIRP) for the treatment of immunological diseases and cancer. Electra currently has one program in clinical development and two additional preclinical programs. The company’s lead product candidate, ELA026, is a monoclonal antibody that targets SIRP on the cell surface of myeloid and T cells, and depletes pathological immune cells. ELA026 is in clinical development for secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH), a life-threatening hyperinflammatory condition for which there is no approved treatment. For more information, please visit Electra Therapeutics and follow us on Twitter @ELECTRA_Biotech and LinkedIn.