Abata to develop new targeted regulatory T-cell therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

June 23, 2021 -- Abata Therapeutics has secured $95 million in funding to develop new targeted biology and regulatory T cells (Tregs) to treat serious autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Abata's autologous Treg cell therapies are engineered to express T-cell receptors (TCRs) that recognize antigens present in tissue where an autoimmune response has been triggered, according to the company. In this way, Tregs can target the site of disease for a robust effect without imposing systemic immune suppression.

Abata will harness Tregs as targeted therapies for serious autoimmune diseases, including progressive multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and the inflammatory disease inclusion body myositis. The company anticipates initiating three clinical studies by the end of 2025.

Abata has also entered into an exclusive strategic partnership with ElevateBio. The collaboration will leverage ElevateBio's BaseCamp, a technology-enabled research and development and manufacturing center. Together, the companies will deploy a proprietary process to isolate, engineer, and expand mature, thymically derived Tregs, which are resistant to proinflammatory triggers.

The series A financing was led by Third Rock Ventures with participation from ElevateBio, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Invus, Samsara BioCapital and the JDRF T1D Fund.

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