Upstream Bio Launches with $200M Series A Funding to Advance Novel Therapies for Allergic and Inflammatory Diseases
The UPB-101 clinical-stage program targets the TSLP receptor, a cytokine receptor positioned upstream in the inflammatory cascade and likely to impact several diseases, including asthma
Pipeline growth strategy includes pursuit of UPB-101 in multiple diseases and acquisition of additional drug candidates
Aaron Deykin, MD, named Chief Medical Officer and Director of Research and Development
WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Upstream organic, an inflammation-focused biotechnology company, debuted today with $200 million in Series A funding. The funding will allow Upstream to advance the company’s flagship program, UPB-101, a clinical-stage monoclonal antibody targeting the TSLP receptor, and build a portfolio of assets to fight immune-mediated diseases. The Series A cycle was conducted jointly by OrbiMed and Maruho Co., Ltd. with participation from Access Biotechnology, Decheng Capital, HBM Healthcare Investments, TCG X, Omega Funds, Samsara BioCapital and Altshuler Shaham Provident Funds Ltd.
Upstream Bio acquired UPB-101 from Astellas following successful completion of initial clinical and preclinical studies. Upstream has selected asthma as the first indication for UPB-101 with plans to pursue other diseases driven by TSLP-mediated inflammation. Inhibition of TSLP signaling is a validated mechanism. Stimulated by allergens, viruses and other triggers, TSLP release sits at the top of the inflammatory cascade and is a key driver of the inflammatory response in major allergic and inflammatory diseases, including asthma. TSLP signaling occurs upstream of other validated targets such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-17 and IgE.
“Because TSLP signaling occurs upstream of other targets, we have the opportunity to impact a fundamental aspect of asthma pathobiology,” said Aaron Deykin, MD, chief medical officer and lead of research and development. “Targeting the TSLP receptor is a compelling mechanism, offering the potential to inhibit multiple disease processes with a single treatment. We plan to establish a clinical proof-of-concept in asthma, where we believe UPB-101 may offer significant efficacy across a broad spectrum of severe asthma patients, regardless of inflammatory phenotype.
“Beyond asthma, we plan to pursue other inflammatory diseases with UPB-101 and explore new additions to our pipeline where we believe we can deliver meaningful patient outcomes,” said Samantha Truex. , CEO of Upstream Bio. “Upstream is delighted that Dr. Aaron Deykin has joined the team to lead translation and development efforts. We will benefit from his extensive experience in both drug development and clinical care for patients with asthma and other inflammatory diseases.
“Upstream Bio is led by a passionate and experienced management team, with the desire to have a broad impact on allergic and inflammatory diseases,” said Ron Renaud, Chairman of the Board of Upstream Bio. “The company is well funded with a strong syndicate of investors. Upstream is well positioned to have a significant impact on patients.
Experienced management team
Upstream Bio is led by a team of biotech industry veterans.
Chief Executive Officer Samantha Truex previously served as CEO of immunology-focused companies Quench Bio and Padlock after substantial transactional and operational experience at Biogen and Genzyme.
Aaron Deykin, MD, joined Upstream Bio as Chief Medical Officer and Director of Research and Development at Biogen, where he served as Senior Vice President of Clinical Sciences. For more than 15 years at Biogen, Aaron was responsible for clinical development in immunology, fibrosis and neurology indications. Dr. Deykin is a pulmonologist who previously held leadership positions at the Brigham and Women’s Asthma Research Center and the Pulmonary Function Laboratory, and has published widely on clinical outcomes in asthma.
Jen Beachell, chief commercial officer, joins Upstream from Janssen, where she served as vice president of global commercial strategy, autoantibody diseases after leading commercial strategy for Momenta. Jen also brings deep commercial and market access experience gained in previous roles at Human Genome Sciences, MedImmune and Ortho Biotech.
Adam Houghton, Chief Commercial Officer, joined Upstream from AbbVie, where he led Venture Investing and previously led research and evaluation for immunology and inflammation at AbbVie and Lilly.
Upstream Co-Founder Oren M. Becker, PhD, an experienced biopharmaceutical entrepreneur, served as Founding Chairman of R&D, was instrumental in founding the company and will continue to serve in an advisory role for Upstream Bio .
About Amont Bio
At Upstream Bio, we strive to get to the source of inflammation and defeat it. Our lead program is a clinical-stage monoclonal antibody that inhibits the TSLP receptor. TSLP is a validated target positioned upstream of several signaling cascades that affect a variety of immune cells essential to common and rare diseases. We leverage our diverse roots and the team’s vast industry experience to develop therapies that lessen the burden of inflammatory and allergic diseases on patients and their loved ones. https://www.upstreambio.com/