Vitalli Bio formed to focus on immunological disorders

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T cells cancer

Aditum Bio has announced the formation of Vitalli Bio, a portfolio company created for the development of novel therapies for immunological disorders.

Aditum Bio is a biotech investment firm cofounded in 2019 by former Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez and former president of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) Mark Fishman.

Vitalli Bio is being formed in connection with the in-licensing of a selective dual inhibitor of interleukin-2-inducible T-cell kinase (ITK) and Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) from Daewoong Pharmaceutical, which is anticipated to close in early May. The compound will be renamed VIT-801, and is anticipated to enter phase 1 studies in 2023.

Option on earlier-stage inhibitors

Unlike current treatments, which are generally limited to inhibiting only individual cell types, VIT-801 is a dual-target inhibitor that simultaneously inhibits B cells, T cells and other immune cells, potentially providing a best-in-class profile in immune disorders where multiple cell types are implicated. In addition to VIT-801, Vitalli Bio will be granted an option to license earlier stage dual-target inhibitors in development by Daewoong.

“Aditum Bio’s translational medicine approach is unique in the industry, and we are excited to move this exciting compound into the clinic in immunological disorders,” said Jimenez, co-founder and managing director of Aditum Bio.

Fishman, co-founder and chair of the medical and scientific advisory boards, added: “VIT-801 has a unique profile that selectively inhibits a range of relevant immune cells, suggesting it has the potential to represent a safe and effective alternative in these difficult-to-treat populations.”

Vitalli Bio is the ninth company launched by Aditum Bio, whose mission is to give large patient populations access to medicines which otherwise may not be developed. To speed these drugs to market, Aditum Bio fosters an incubator model, focusing on the translational phase of drug development.

The company said the “spin out” model enables a nimble, start-up culture with a dedicated team of managers supported by Aditum’s in-house team of operational and technical area experts, ranging from nonclinical pharmacology and CMC, to regulatory affairs and clinical operations. 

About Aditum Bio

Aditum Bio focuses on basic mechanisms of disease, in-licenses promising drug candidates directed at such pathophysiologies, and spins out individual companies dedicated to bringing each candidate through Phase II clinical trials. Aditum Bio uses data, software and technology to help bring innovative medicines through the clinical trial phase more quickly and with lower costs than traditional pharmaceutical companies.

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