Drug Farm Raises $27M USD Financing for Advancement of First-In-Class Hepatitis B and Cardiovascular-Renal Drugs into Clinical Trials
May 23, 2023
Drug Farm, a private biotechnology company utilizing genetics and AI technologies to discover and develop innovative, immune-modulating therapies, has raised the first round of C series financing totaling $27 million USD. With this financing round, Drug Farm will continue its clinical program on DF-006 and advance DF-003 into a first-in-human clinical trial.
DF-006 is a first-in-class, orally administered ALPK1 agonist immunomodulator that potently stimulates local, innate immunity in the liver, leading to a robust preclinical efficacy response. The DF-006 preclinical anti-HBV activity has recently been published in Hepatology1.
DF-006 has successfully completed single and multiple ascending dose evaluation in Parts 1 and 2 of a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers (ACTRN12621000592842). DF-006 will now be evaluated in chronic hepatitis B patients in Part 3 of the multi-center trial. "There remains no effective cure for hepatitis B and DF-006 represents a new mechanistic approach to stimulate the body's own immunity to help clear the infection," said Dr. Ed Gane, Professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and Chief Hepatologist, Transplant Physician, and Deputy Director of the New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit at Auckland City Hospital. "We look forward to further testing of DF-006 in treatment naïve and previously-treated chronic hepatitis B patients."
Drug Farm is also delighted to announce that it has selected DF-003 as a clinical candidate for cardio-renal disease, and for the rare genetic inflammatory disease ROSAH (retinal dystrophy, optic nerve edema, splenomegaly, anhidrosis, headache). DF-003 is a first-in-class orally active, potent, and highly selective ALPK1 kinase inhibitor that will enter clinical trials in 2023. Dr. Henri Lichenstein, CEO and Board Member of Drug Farm, commented, "Hundreds of millions of people are living with heart failure and chronic kidney disease worldwide. We have identified ALPK1 as a novel target linked to disease biology in cardio-renal disease and developed the first clinical candidate targeting ALPK1."
"ROSAH is a devastating disease that leads to blindness and is caused by a mutation in ALPK1 resulting in its constitutive hyperactivation. Since DF-003 is a potent inhibitor of ALPK1 kinase, we see great promise for DF-003 to be a personalized medicine that specifically targets the root cause of ROSAH," said Dr. Yvan Jamilloux, Professor of Internal Medicine at Lyon University Hospital, France.
Financing for this round was led by YD Capital with other new investors including Jiashan County State-owned Assets Investment and Betta Capital. Existing investors Wedo Venture Management and Detong Capital also participated. Haoyue Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor.
About Drug Farm
Drug Farm is a private biotechnology Company developing innovative treatments targeting innate immunity for hepatitis B, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Drug Farm's unique IDInVivo platform combines breakthrough technologies in genetics and AI to discover new treatments. IDInVivo technology allows the direct assessment of gene targets in living animals with intact immune systems. Using the IDInVivo platform, Drug Farm has identified novel innate immunity pathways and targets and is now rapidly advancing multiple first-in-class drug candidates into clinical development. For more information please visit: www.drug-farm.com
Xu C, Fan J, Liu D, Tuerdi A, Chen J, Wei Y, Pan Y, Dang H, Wei X, Yousif AS, Yogaratnam J, Zhou Q, Lichenstein H, Xu T. Alpha-kinase 1 (ALPK1) agonist DF-006 demonstrates potent efficacy in mouse and primary human hepatocyte (PHH) models of hepatitis B. Hepatology. 2023 Jan 1;77(1):275-289. doi: 10.1002/hep.32614. Epub 2022 Sep 17