Escalier Biosciences Raises $19 Million to Develop its Topical and Systemic RORγt Therapies for Psoriasis and other Autoimmune Diseases
NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands and ENCINITAS, California, – Escalier Biosciences BV, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, today announced the closing of a $19 million Series B financing. The round was led by Forbion with existing investors New Science Ventures and BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) completing the round. Escalier is developing both topical and oral RORγt drug candidates for psoriasis and expects to be in the clinic with its topical compound in mid 2018.
“RORγt is a validated target for psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders and our drug candidates have the potential to provide the desired efficacy and safety in psoriasis patients that is currently unavailable with other topical or oral drugs,” said Raju Mohan, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Escalier. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a supportive syndicate of investors that share our passion in developing novel therapies for challenging targets such as RORγt.”
“Escalier’s team has an impressive track record of developing novel compounds targeting diseases with significant unmet medical need,” stated Marco Boorsma, General Partner at Forbion who will join Escalier’s Board of Directors. “We are excited to participate in this financing with New Science Ventures and BioGeneration Ventures and in supporting Escalier’s efforts to develop best-in-class drugs for the treatment of psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases.”
“We are delighted to have Forbion join us in the current round,” added Somu Subramaniam, Managing Partner at New Science Ventures. “The Escalier team made tremendous progress last year and we look forward to moving rapidly towards human clinical trials for our lead RORγt topical and oral drug candidates.”
Escalier Biosciences BV is a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel small molecule therapeutics that target RORγt for the treatment of psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders. Escalier’s lead topical and oral drug candidates are currently in late stage preclinical studies. Escalier is registered in The Netherlands with offices in Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Encinitas, California. www.escalierbio.com
Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that results in raised, red, scaly patches on the skin. It is estimated that 7.5 million Americans and 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis. Between 10-30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis. Patients are categorized into mild, moderate or severe with the National Psoriasis Foundation. The majority of psoriasis patients are in the mild to moderate category.
The nuclear hormone receptor RORγt has emerged as the “master” regulator of Th17 cell differentiation and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-17A and IL-17F. Increased production of these cytokines has been linked to the pathophysiology of psoriasis. Small molecule inhibitors of RORγt have been shown to reduce production of IL-17 in immune cells and are promising therapies for psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions.
Forbion Capital Partners is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands and Germany. Forbion invests in life sciences companies that are active in the pharmaceutical, as well as the medical device space. Forbion’s investment team has built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in over 50 companies. Forbion manages well over €800M across nine funds. Its investors include the EIF, through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA and Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI) facilities and the KFW through the ERP – Venture Capital Fondsfinanzierung facility. Forbion also operates a joint venture with BGV, the manager of seed and early stage funds focused on Benelux and Germany. www.forbion.com
About New Science Ventures
New Science Ventures, LLC (NSV) is a New York-based venture capital firm that invests in companies using novel scientific approaches in the life sciences sector (biotech, pharma and medical devices) and the information technology sector (semiconductors, photonics and advanced materials). NSV was founded in 2004 by Somu Subramaniam, Managing Partner, and Tom Lavin, Partner, and has invested approximately $600M in both early and late stage companies located in the United States and Europe. www.newscienceventures.com
BGV is a venture capital company with a focus on early stage European biotech, medtech, and diagnostics companies. BGV has a strong track record of significant financial returns through investing in innovations in healthcare and providing the expertise to build world-class teams. BGV manages over €120M of funds investing in areas where true scientific innovations, the unmet medical need, and the potential to demonstrate a significant proof of concept all come together. BGV is based in Naarden, The Netherlands. www.biogenerationventures.com