Anokion SA, a Swiss biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance, completed a $40m Series B financing.
Backers included Versant Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund, Novo Ventures and select Swiss-based private investors. Celgene, which has an existing collaboration with Anokion to develop novel, immune-modulating programs for autoimmune diseases, also participated in the Series B. In conjunction with the funding, Laura Brass, Ph.D., a managing director at Novartis Venture Fund, joined Anokion’s board of directors.
The company, which has now secured more than $160m in equity and partner capital, intends to use the funds to continue advancing its pipeline.
Anokion also acquired Boston, MA-based Kanyos Bio, Inc. The acquisition adds KAN-101 to the portfolio, an antigen-specific treatment for celiac disease currently in late preclinical development, with an investigational new drug (IND) application expected to be filed with the FDA by the end of 2019.
Originally founded in collaboration with Anokion in 2015, Kanyos leveraged the Anokion platform to rapidly progress KAN-101 into IND-enabling studies. Together with Anokion’s lead product ANK-780, an antigen-specific treatment for multiple sclerosis, the company anticipates having two programs in clinical development within the next 12 months.
Led by John A. Hohneker, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Raj Manchanda, Ph.D., chief technical operations officer, and Deborah Geraghty, Ph.D., chief operating officer, Anokion is a biotechnology company focused on both prevalent and rare autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Its approach leverages an immune-based platform, which targets natural pathways in the liver to restore immune tolerance and address the underlying cause of autoimmune disease.