Alladapt gets $100M+ to see its all-in-one oral immunotherapy allergy drug through clinical trials
Most food allergy care involves avoidance — checking ingredient labels, no peanut tables in schools, and so on. However, that paradigm has been shifting with oral immunotherapies, or OITs for short, in which patients purposely eat a bit of their allergen in the form of a modified protein in hopes of training their immune system to tolerate it.
Alladapt Immunotherapeutics is creating a single OIT for all major IgE-mediated food allergies — “what we call the big nine,” as Alladapt CEO Ashley Dombkowski said — for milk, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and sesame. Now, the biotech has $119 million to push that drug through clinical trials.
Aimmune got the first peanut OIT for children approved back in January of 2020, though it faced controversy for the cost of its drug, more or less a version of peanut protein, that came with an annual price tag of over $10,000. And soon after getting that approval, Aimmune was bought by Nestlé.
Alladapt’s drug works similarly to Aimmune’s, but instead of just peanuts, it contains bits from nine allergen groups. The drug was developed based on the work of its co-founder, Stanford allergist Kari Nadeau.
Dombkowski said the basis of that all-in-one drug design is that patients who have one allergy are more likely to have others, and those multi-allergic patients are more likely to have severe reactions. And if a patient were multi-allergic, getting an individual immunotherapy for each of their allergies would be complicated, but according to Nadeau’s research, patients can be simultaneously desensitized to multiple allergens, Dombkowski noted.
“The approach where we have all of these antigens together is kind of like a multivalent vaccine — you’d love to get a shot that covers all the variants of a potential reaction or infection,” she said.
Alladapt’s candidate OIT, dubbed ADP101, is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials, and the Menlo Park, CA-based biotech announced that it finished enrolling the trial at the start of this year. Alladapt also began an open-label extension trial in March.
Notably, most OIT work, especially with peanuts, has been done with children, but Alladapt is running trials for both children and adults. When asked about potential lower response rates in adults, Dombkowski said that from what she has seen from Nadeau’s research, adults tend to struggle more with adhering to the OIT, but there are adults who do respond to the treatment.
Alladapt’s latest financing round was led by Enavate Sciences, and also included its founding investor Gurnet Point Capital, alongside AllerFund, Red Tree Venture Capital, WestRiver Group and, interestingly, Novartis.
Alladapt plans to read out its Phase I/II trial early next year and hopes to start a Phase III trial in 2024, Dombkowski said.