Biotechnology

Nanobody company Attovia Therapeutics launches with $60 million

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Alamar Biosciences, a company driving precision proteomics to enable early detection of disease, and Frazier Life Sciences, have launched Attovia Therapeutics, a company focused on establishing biotherapeutic pathways in immune-mediated diseases and cancer.

The company, based on Attobody, Alamar’s new biparatopic nanobody platform, simultaneously closed a $60 million Series A financing led by Frazier and joined forces with venBio and Illumina Ventures.

Attovia will receive the exclusive worldwide license to the Attobody platform and related intellectual property and pipeline assets in the therapeutic field in exchange for equity and potential achievements and royalties. The company plans to use proceeds from its Series A financing to achieve clinical proof of concept in its key programs in immune-mediated diseases, nominate additional development candidates across the company’s core focus areas in immunology and oncology, and advance its Attobody core technology platform.

“By creating Attovia with Frazier and other investors, we were able to give the Attobody platform the special attention and resources it deserves to realize its full potential,” said Yuling Luo, founder, chairman and CEO of Alamar and co-founder of Attovia.

“Alamar scientists developed the Attobody platform to increase antibody affinity and specificity and we are excited to expand its application to therapeutic development.”

Tao Fu, co-founder of Attovia and business partner at Frazier Life Sciences, will serve as Attovia’s chief executive officer and join the board of directors. Attovia’s leadership team consists of Petter Veiby (chief scientific officer), Hangjun Zhan (chief technology officer), and Zaneta Odrowaz (chief business officer).

“The ability to combine two nanobodies into a single biparatopic Attobody creates opportunities to refine therapies for specific targets and to expand the target universe,” said Fu.

Jamie Topper, managing partner at Frazier Life Sciences, said: “Company creation is one of Frazier’s core strategies, and we are thrilled to partner with Alamar and other investors to launch Attovia. We believe Attovia is in a strong position to create a strong first and best-in-class drug network that comes from the Attobody platform.”

The Attobody platform

The Attobody platform produces small format binders (referred to as Attobodies) with very high affinity, increased internalization and fast network penetration. These properties make Attobodies ideal binding agents for hard-to-reach drug targets such as G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and allow their wide application in modalities such as drug-antibody conjugates, radioconjugates, or multispecific biologic development.

The biparatopic binding mode of Attobodies, combined with an evolution-driven high-throughput method for finding binders, significantly expands druggable epitopes and target spaces.

Attobodies do not require affinity maturation and can be engineered into a variety of valence and half-life extension formats. So far, Alamar and Attovia have succeeded in producing Attobodies against a number of membrane, soluble, and viral targets.

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