Clinical-stage biotechnology company Lassen Therapeutics has secured $85m in a Series B funding round to advance the clinical trial of its lead programmes, LASN01 and LASN500.
Frazier Life Sciences and Longitude Capital jointly led the funding round, with new investors BVF Partners and Catalio Capital Management also taking part.
The financing round saw participation from current investors Alta Partners and Longwood Capital.
The capital injection will help the company to advance the clinical programme for LASN01, as well as progress the investigational new drug application (IND)-enabling works for LASN500.
An interleukin-11 receptor (IL-11R) targeting antibody therapeutic, LASN01 is being developed to treat fibro-inflammatory ailments such as thyroid eye disease (TED) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
LASN500 is an interleukin-18 binding protein (IL-18BP), targeting monoclonal antibody being developed to treat cancer.
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The company will use the funds to expand the Phase I trial of LASN01 for IPF and TED.
This trial in healthy subjects has concluded and demonstrated a favourable safety profile, pharmacokinetics, and target engagement. Following this, the company expanded the programme to patient cohorts in IPF and TED disease.
Both of these subject cohorts are presently enrolling participants, with the first subject with TED receiving the treatment dose.
In addition, Lassen will commence and expand the Phase II programme in TED in the US and ex-US markets.
The company also plans to develop a subcutaneous dose of LASN01 in the future.
Lassen CEO Maria Fardis said: “The proceeds allow us to advance LASN01 Phase I and II clinical programmes and develop a subcutaneous formulation for LASN01.
“This antibody has significant potential as a treatment for fibro-inflammatory disorders, including TED.
“Our data in orbital fibroblasts have been highly encouraging and, paired with our Phase I single and multiple ascending dose safety data, support advancement of LASN01 in Phase II for TED.”