Esker Therapeutics Announces Name Change to Alumis and Completion of $200 Million Series B Financing to Advance Precision Medicines for Autoimmune Diseases
SAN FRANCISCO – Alumis, formerly Esker Therapeutics, a precision immunology company backed by Foresite Capital and incubated by Foresite Labs that is reimagining the discovery, development and treatment of autoimmune disorders, today announced the completion of a $200 million financing led by AyurMaya, an affiliate of Matrix Capital Management, and by a U.S.-based healthcare-focused fund. In conjunction with the financing, Alumis announced that Dr. Alan Colowick, managing director at Matrix, joined the company’s board of directors.
“We are thrilled to announce the completion of this financing with support from leading investors in our industry. These funds position us well to independently advance several precision immunology programs and potentially add additional assets to our pipeline,” said Martin Babler, president and chief executive officer of Alumis. “Since the company’s launch last year, we have been making progress advancing our lead program into the clinic, initiating several pipeline programs and leveraging insights from our analytics platform to inform both our clinical development plans and our discovery programs. Our team has expanded significantly in research, development and business development, and we are pleased to further strengthen our board of directors with industry veterans such as Alan Colowick. I look forward to collaborating with our team and board as we work to deliver precision therapies to patients in need.”
Proceeds from the financing will be used to continue to advance Alumis’ pipeline, led by ESK-001, a highly selective and potentially best in class TYK2 inhibitor with greater selectivity for TYK2 over JAK1 compared to current therapies in clinical development. ESK-001 is currently being developed for the treatment of psoriasis. Beyond ESK-001, Alumis is using its data analytics and research capabilities to build a pipeline from internal and external sources focused on delivering precision immunology therapies impacting the causal drivers of multiple autoimmune disease indications.
“Alumis’ unique approach of combining a novel precision analytics platform with deep experience in immunology pathophysiology and a proven track record of developing and commercializing novel drugs holds significant promise for the future treatment of patients with autoimmune disease,” said Dr. Colowick. “Alumis is a perfect fit for our mission to support world class teams focusing on addressing the most important unmet medical needs by leveraging the convergence of technology and biology. I am particularly excited to join the board of directors and to have the opportunity to work with Martin and his team again.”
"This is an exciting time for the team at Alumis and the patients with autoimmune diseases who are waiting for new therapies," said Jim Tananbaum, founder and CEO of Foresite Capital. "This additional financing will help Alumis develop a comprehensive data set for people suffering from autoimmunity driven by TYK2 and other development targets."
The company’s name change to Alumis (“alumer” for “lighten/enlightened” and “immunis” for “immunology”) is reflective of the transformation of the organization and overall vision to provide meaningful therapeutic solutions for people with autoimmune disease.
Alumis is a precision immunology company looking to eliminate the “all comer” approach that is seen with today’s treatments for people with autoimmune disease. Even with innovation of the last decade, many patients continue to cycle through the approved therapies while continuing to look for the right therapy to alleviate the impact of their disease without life-impacting side effects. Alumis leverages a precision analytics platform, powered by Foresite Labs, coupled with a team of experts with deep experience in precision medicine drug discovery, development and immunology, in order to create medicines that change the lives of people with autoimmune disease. For more information, please visit alumis.co.
About Foresite Labs
Foresite Labs incubates companies that will address some of our greatest unmet medical needs. Their experienced team of scientists, engineers, and operators believes that the tools of data science, when applied with scientific rigor, will greatly accelerate scientific discovery and the development of new products and services that benefit patients. Through its incubation platform, Foresite Labs is dismantling the barriers faced by visionary entrepreneurs and their companies as they seek to re-invent healthcare. For more information, visit www.foresitelabs.com.
Dan Budwick, 1AB