Thyritope Biosciences, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based developer of therapeutics that target thyroid stimulating auto-antibodies, will receive up to $10m in Series A financing and R&D support.
Based on molecular evolution technology developed by Patrick Daugherty, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara and commercialized by Serimmune, Inc., Thyritope Biosciences is developing therapeutics that target thyroid stimulating auto-antibodies, which are the causative drivers of Graves’ hyperthyroidism and Graves’ orbitopathy.
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by antibodies that over-stimulate the thyroid, causing excessive thyroid hormone production. The same antibodies stimulate the tissue around the eyes, resulting in an increase of orbital fat and extra-ocular muscle volume which causes the bulging of the eyes characteristic of Graves’ orbitopathy.
There is currently no approved treatment for Graves’ orbitopathy.
Based on the terms of the Avalon-GSK collaboration established in April 2013, Avalon will provide Thyritope with executive leadership and operational management consistent with its current portfolio strategy. GSK has the option to acquire each of the companies upon the identification of a clinical candidate. Should GSK elect not to exercise this option, ownership of Thyritope will remain with Avalon, and Avalon will be free to enter into other strategic transactions.