Sean Smith, ImmunOs Therapeutics CEO

A for­mer Mer­ck di­rec­tor's Pfiz­er-backed biotech will take on his old boss­es in nascent LIL­RB field

On­ly a hand­ful of biotechs are go­ing af­ter LIL­RBs, com­po­nents of the in­nate im­mune sys­tem. But af­ter an ini­tial crop of da­ta out of Mer­ck in au­tumn 2020, more in­ter­est sprung up in the area, and a for­mer Mer­ck fran­chise di­rec­tor has se­cured in­vestor back­ing to try to catch up to his for­mer em­ploy­er.

Zurich-area biotech Im­munOs Ther­a­peu­tics reeled in a $74 mil­lion Se­ries B to take that lead pro­gram in­to a Phase Ia study in Aus­tralia to­ward the end of this year, ex­ec­u­tives told End­points News. The drug, dubbed IOS-1002, is a mul­ti-agent based on hu­man leuko­cyte anti­gens (HLAs) that go af­ter two ver­sions of LIL­RB (1 and 2) and KIR3DL1.

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