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2022-09-13| Funding

Competing With BMS’s New Psoriasis Drug, Nimbus Gathers $125 Million to Advance Development

by Reed Slater
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Amidst ongoing Phase 2b clinical trials studying the safety and efficacy of its oral, allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor, Nimbus Therapeutics gathered $125 million in private financing to keep the ball rolling for the drug’s development. In addition to the plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis programs, Nimbus said it would continue developing the drug, NDI-034858, in other areas like inflammatory bowel disease and lupus. The news comes just a day after Bristol Myers Squibb announced the FDA’s approval of its oral TYK2 inhibitor, Sotyktu, to treat plaque psoriasis.

Another New Oral Treatment For Psoriasis Variations

Nimbus designed NDI-034858 as an allosteric TYK2 inhibitor to treat various autoimmune diseases. The company says TYK2 is an important kinase enzyme that mediates immune signaling in the body. By harnessing TYK2 inhibition and immune signaling to various enzymes and proteins, Nimbus hopes to leverage the drug’s potential to treat several autoimmune diseases, including types of psoriasis.

NDI-034858 is in two Phase 2b trials studying the safety and efficacy in plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. If the drug makes it through the gauntlet of clinical trials to treat plaque psoriasis, it would add to the short list of orally administered therapies treating the condition. Bristol Myers Squibb’s Sotyktu, a fellow oral, allosteric TYK2 inhibitor, recently gained FDA approval to treat plaque psoriasis. Also in the oral plaque psoriasis competition is Amgen’s Otezla, which gained approval for the indication last December after being on the market for psoriatic arthritis since 2014

In the psoriatic arthritis arena, Nimbus is up against Otezla and Pfizer’s Xeljanz, which gained approval for the indication in 2017. Xeljanz is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor, and Otezla is a phosphodiesterase 4 (PED4) inhibitor. Despite different mechanisms of action, all three drugs aim to reduce inflammation to control psoriatic arthritis in patients. 

With the new funding, Nimbus plans to continue the psoriasis-focused Phase 2b trials before heading into Phase 3 trials. The company also hopes to leverage the drug in other autoimmune indications like inflammatory bowel disease and lupus.

Related Article: BMS’s Once-Daily Plaque Psoriasis Treatment, Sotyktu, Gains FDA Approval to Rival Otezla

Additional Funding to Keep Several Programs Moving Forward

Nimbus’s most recent $125 million round of funding is the first since July last year, when it secured $105 million in private financing. New investors in the latest financing round include Bain Capital Life Sciences and SV Health Investors. Returning investors include Access Biotechnology, Atlas Venture, BVF Partners L.P., Bill Gates, Lightstone Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, RA Capital Management, and SR One.

In addition to developing NDI-034858, Nimbus said it plans to allocate some of the $125 million to Phase 1/2 trials studying NDI-101150, a hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1) inhibitor to treat solid tumors. The funds will also support preclinical programs targeting a special type of lymphoma and a rare progressive disorder called Werner Syndrome. Nimbus is also working on discovery projects across a range of targets. 

Nimbus’s efforts to develop NDI-034858 to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are exciting developments in the oral treatment space of psoriasis therapies. The most recent round of $125 million in private financing allows Nimbus to advance several promising programs into later-stage development. 

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