Belgian T reg specialist Dualyx NV had raised €40m to progress its three preclinical Treg candidates for autoimmune diseases into the clinic.
The Series A financing was co-led by Fountain Healthcare Partners, Forbion and Andera Partners and seed investors V-Bio Ventures, BGV, PMV, VIB, HTGF, and GFF. Ena Prosser, Partner at Fountain Healthcare Partners, JulieTe Audet, Partner at Forbion, and Aneta Soul, Director at Andera Partners will join Dualyx’s Board as non-executve directors.
The company announced it will particularly push the development of its lead autoimmune programme DT001, which is in IND-enabling studies, towards clinical proof-of concept. DT001 is a TNF receptor 2 agonistic antibody that has been demonstrated to boost the proliferation and activity of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in animal models for multiple sclerosis and GvHD.
Dualyx will also push clinical development of its other two immune modulators targeting the in vivo expansion of regulatory T cells. According to the company, increasing and activating Treg cells can restore the ratio of regulatory to effector T cells and suppress the unwanted autoimmune reaction to achieve long-lasting or even curative treatments in autoimmune disease patients. The company’s multi-specific antibodies selectively expand and activate Tregs without activating other immune cellsand thus hold the promise of combining effective immune suppression with favorable tox profiles and high therapeutic indices
Dualyx was founded two years ago by CSO Luc Van Rompaey, in a collaboration with Wurzburg University, Argenx, VIB, Ghent University and KU Leuven. The company has been supported to date by a €7m seed round from V-Bio Ventures, BGV, PMV, VIB, HTGF, and GFF.
Competitors in the Treg modulation field include French Egle Therapeutics, British Quell Therpeutics Ltd, and cancer-focussed CAT-Treg company Sangamo Therapeutics that acquired French TxCell SA in 2018.