The Swiss company Calypso Biotech has raised a sizeable €20M to fund its immunotherapy for an allergy-related inflammatory disease.
The Series A round will help to develop Calypso’s antibody treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis, a condition where patients have an inflamed esophagus and difficulty swallowing. This condition is often linked with allergies to food, such as milk, or to environmental factors such as pollen.
Currently at the preclinical stage, the monoclonal antibody is designed to treat this condition by inhibiting interleukin-15, a ‘danger’ molecule that alerts the immune system of tissue damage and whose dysregulation is linked to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
One of the top biotechs in Geneva, Calypso also plans to develop the treatment for other undisclosed diseases, which could include autoimmune conditions like celiac disease.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is also in the sights of other biotechs in Europe. The US-based Regeneron and the French Sanofi are collaborating to develop a drug that could treat the condition. Currently in phase III, the drug works by targeting the immune molecules interleukin-4 and -13.
Another French company, DBV Technologies, is targeting a form of eosinophilic esophagitis that is linked to milk allergies. Its phase II trial is testing a skin patch that delivers small quantities of milk proteins to patients, with the aim of desensitizing them to milk and treating the esophageal inflammation.
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