Anokion SA, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance announced that Pfizer has made a $35 million equity investment in Anokion through the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative. In conjunction with the investment, Michael Vincent, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer, Inflammation & Immunology, Pfizer, has joined the company’s scientific advisory board, which will be announced later this year, and Allison Kean, M.D., executive director, Worldwide Business Development, Pfizer has joined Anokion’s board of directors as an observer.
Separately, Anokion and Pfizer have entered into an agreement to leverage Pfizer’s development expertise and capabilities in support of the continued clinical development of KAN-101, Anokion’s lead candidate for the treatment of individuals with celiac disease.
“We are excited about these agreements with Pfizer as they provide us with important resources and expertise to advance our KAN-101 clinical program and our earlier-stage pipeline. People living with autoimmune diseases like celiac disease need additional treatment options, and we are excited to work with Pfizer to potentially develop these utilizing our immune tolerance platform. We also look forward to leveraging Pfizer’s insights and capabilities in support of our Phase 2 clinical program in patients with celiac disease.”
Deborah Geraghty, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Anokion
“We believe Anokion has a unique opportunity to develop potential durable and disease-modifying treatment options for people with celiac disease and other immune-mediated disorders, and we look forward to supporting them in the continued development of KAN-101,” said Dr. Vincent. “The agreements announced today are yet another example of our commitment to collaborating with biotechs to accelerate compelling external science that could lead to true breakthroughs for patients.”
Anokion intends to use a portion of the proceeds to fund its Phase 2 clinical program of KAN-101 for the treatment of individuals with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder triggered by ingestion of gluten, for which there are no approved therapeutic treatments available. Data from Anokion’s Phase 1 ACeD study (Assessment of KAN-101 in Celiac Disease) were presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2022, showing that treatment with KAN-101 was safe and tolerated, reduced T cell responses following gluten challenge, and demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibition of gluten-induced serum IL-2 (interleukin-2), a key disease biomarker that may correlate with the timing and severity of symptoms after gluten exposure in celiac disease. Based on favorable findings, Anokion is preparing to initiate patient dosing in a Phase 2 clinical trial in the second half of 2022, supported by Pfizer.
KAN-101 is an investigational therapy being evaluated as a treatment for individuals with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease triggered by ingestion of gluten, for which there are no approved therapeutic treatments available. KAN-101 is designed to induce tolerance to gliadin, a core component of gluten, through natural pathways in the liver. KAN-101 has been granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of celiac disease.
Anokion SA is a clinical-stage Swiss biotechnology company that aims to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases by restoring normal immune tolerance. The company is focused on both prevalent and rare autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Anokion’s distinct approach leverages the company’s immune-based platform, which targets natural pathways in the liver to restore immune tolerance and address the underlying cause of autoimmune disease.