Artax Biopharma Closes Financing to Advance Clinical Stage First-in- Class Oral Immunomodulator to Treat T Cell-Mediated Diseases

Press Release:

Artax Biopharma Closes Financing to Advance Clinical Stage First-in-
Class Oral Immunomodulator to Treat T Cell-Mediated Diseases

  • Close of $26 Million Funds Immunomodulation Candidate AX-158 Development
  • Adds New Investors Eli Lilly and Company and Sound Bioventures

Cambridge, MA, May 11, 2022 - Artax Biopharma, Inc., a clinical stage
biotechnology company focused on transforming the treatment of T Cell-mediated
pathologies, today announces the close of a $26 million financing round to develop
AX-158, the Company’s first oral small molecule immunomodulating agent. New
investors, Eli Lilly and Company and Sound Bioventures, participated alongside
existing investors Advent Life Sciences, Columbus Venture Partners, Belinda
Termeer and other Company shareholders.

Artax will use these funds to support the clinical development of AX-158 in
autoimmune diseases, including the addition of key clinical development personnel.
AX-158 employs a first-in-class mechanism of action that selectively modulates
inappropriate T cell activation, a cause of autoimmune disease. AX-158 has the
potential to treat T Cell-mediated diseases without the risk of immunosuppression.
Artax’s ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial is assessing the safety, exposure, and
pharmacokinetics of AX-158 in healthy volunteers and includes ex vivo stimulated
measures of its pharmacodynamic activity. In preclinical studies, AX-158
demonstrated potential to treat T Cell-mediated diseases by decreasing key cytokines
including INFγ, TNFα, IL-2, IL-1 and IL-6 in whole human blood samples.

“We are pleased to welcome Lilly and Sound Bioventures as new investors as
we continue to develop our unique immunomodulating agent for patients with T
Cell-driven conditions, including autoimmune diseases. We believe AX-158’s
immunomodulating effect has the potential to make a transformative difference for
patients living with T Cell-driven conditions, without impacting healthy immune
system function,” said Joseph Lobacki, Chief Executive Officer of Artax
Biopharma.

“We are also excited to welcome Casper Breum, Managing Partner of Sound
Bioventures, who will join the Artax Board of Directors,” said Mr. Lobacki. “Mr.
Breum’s experience will be a valuable asset to guide the Company’s strategy.”

About Artax Science and Immunomodulation

A healthy immune system eliminates harmful foreign pathogens, while being
tolerant of self-tissues and organs. The T Cell Receptor (TCR) is central to healthy
T Cell function and a well-functioning immune system. When TCR signaling
becomes dysregulated, T Cells behave abnormally. This behavior results in T Celldriven
conditions, including autoimmune diseases, T Cell malignancies
(lymphomas), and induced T Cell pathologies in which medical treatments result in
immune reactions (such as stem cell transplants resulting in acute graft-versus-hostdisease
or immuno-oncology treatments resulting in immune related-adverse
events).
Artax believes immunomodulation - a mechanism through which our
investigational agents assist in rebalancing the immune system and eliminating a
cause of T Cell-mediated diseases, while not impacting patients’ ability to
effectively fight foreign pathogens - holds great potential.

About AX-158

AX-158 is a first-in-class, oral small molecule immunomodulating agent in
clinical development for the treatment of T Cell-mediated diseases. AX-158
employs a novel mechanism of action that selectively modulates, or adjusts, T Cell
responses that play a critical role in immune system function. AX-158 is a Nck
SH3.1 domain inhibitor which selectively counteracts the role of Nck in T Cells.
Nck is a protein that naturally amplifies T Cell signaling directly at the TCR,
contributing to T Cell mediated disease. This process of immunomodulation assists
the immune system to maintain healthy control and eliminates a direct contributor
to T Cell-mediated diseases. Importantly, Artax believes that preclinical data
suggests AX-158 will not be immunosuppressive and so will not impact the immune
system’s ability to mount a strong response to foreign pathogens and infections.

About Artax Biopharma

Artax Biopharma is a clinical-stage biotechnology company transforming
T Cell-mediated disease treatment by developing innovative small molecules that
modulate the immune system. Artax science holds broad potential to treat T Cellmediated
diseases such as autoimmune diseases; induced T cell pathologies (such as
acute graft-versus-host disease and immune-oncology treatment-related adverse
events); and T Cell malignancies, while simultaneously allowing the body to fight
foreign pathogens. For more information, please visit: www.artaxbiopharma.com.

About Sound Bioventures

Sound Bioventures is a biotherapeutics focused venture fund, with a strong
foundation in the Nordic biotech ecosystem, that invests in clinical stage companies
in EU, UK and USA. The fund invests in projects addressing significant unmet
medical needs having the potential for a profound impact on human health and
healthcare systems. Sound Bioventures was founded by a team of experienced life
science investors and is backed by a strong investor syndicate comprising
Novo Holdings, Saminvest, Vaekstfonden, the European Investment Fund,
Ramsbury Invest and the founders. Sound Bioventures Fund I AB is a registered
alternative investment fund, under the Swedish Alternative Investment Funds
Managers Act. For more information, please visit: www.soundbioventures.com.

Contacts:
Karen LaRochelle, MBA
Chief Business Officer
Artax Biopharma
klarochelle@artaxbiopharma.com

 

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