Spyre raises $180m to advance IBD antibody pipeline

Spyre Therapeutics' Cameron Turtle

Spyre Therapeutics' CEO Cameron Turtle

At the start of this year, Aeglea BioTherapeutics was looking like it may go out of business. Now, rebranded as Spyre Therapeutics, it is looking to the future with a new chief executive and another $180 million in private financing from existing and new backers.

After its own rare disease pipeline led by pegtarviliase for classical homocystinuria failed a phase 1/2 trial, Aeglea pared back its headcount and in June agreed to buy Spyre in a stock-swap deal that gave it a series of long-acting antibodies for immunological diseases, headed by SPY001 and SPY002 for inflammatory bowel disease.

Last week, that deal came to its fruition with a formal name change to Spyre, the appointment of Spyre chief operating officer Cameron Turtle as the new company’s CEO, and the start of trading on the Nasdaq under the ‘SYRE’ ticker.

Turtle is heading a whole new management team that includes ex-Johnson & Johnson and Spark Therapeutics exec Joshua Friedman and Deanna Nguyen, formerly of Prometheus Biosciences and Theravance, who will take responsibility for the clinical development of its pipeline.

The new round of cash follows an earlier $210 million private round from Aeglea’s backers at the time it announced the Spyre takeover, giving the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech plenty of financial resources to take SPY001 and SPY002 forwards into clinical testing next year.

SPY001 is an anti-α4β7 monoclonal antibody – in the same class as Takeda’s IBD blockbuster Entyvio (vedolizumab) – that is currently in investigational new drug-enabling studies and is expected to enter first-in-human studies in 2024.

SPY002, an anti-TL1A antibody with potential beyond IBD, is due to start clinical testing in the latter half of next year, and also in development is SPY003, a long-acting IL-23 targeting drug in preclinical testing that is due to start clinical trials in 2025. All three drugs are also being investigated as potential combination therapies.

The latest private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing involves Access Biotechnology, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Perceptive Advisors, RTW Investments, Braidwell, Fairmount, Cormorant Asset Management, Polar Capital, Boxer Capital, Deep Track Capital, Great Point Partners, Affinity Asset Advisors, Commodore Capital, Woodline Partners, and others. It is expected to close on Monday.

Other sizeable biotech financings this week included Seismic Therapeutics‘ $121 million Series B for its artificial intelligence-designed immunology drugs, a $101 million Series C for immunology and oncology drug developer Odyssey Therapeutics, and a $90 million first round for radioligand developer ARTBIO.