Biotech company HBM Alpha Therapeutics has raised a seed round to advance its novel antibody therapies to treat congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), with the lead candidate currently in IND-enabling stage.
HBMAT was founded on the expertise of Harbour BioMed’s antibody discovery and development capabilities, and expertise in the molecular pathogenesis and treatment of endocrine disorders of HBMAT’s Scientific Founder Dr. Joseph Majzoub, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. HBMAT has licensed relevant technologies from Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Majzoub chairs the Scientific Advisory Board for HBMAT and is a shareholder of the company. At present, HBMAT’s Scientific Advisory Board comprises Dr. Majzoub, Dr. Frank Grosveld, Co-founder and CSO of Harbour Antibodies and the inventor of Harbour Mice, and Dr. Ieuan Hughes, a paediatric endocrinologist and an emeritus professor of paediatrics at the University of Cambridge.
HBMAT’s programs aim to deliver precision therapies for endocrine disorders. The leading programs target a pathway for CAH and PCOS. The financing will be used to advance these programs into the clinical stage.
CAH is a rare-autosomal recessive genetic disease with a defective CYP21A2 gene. CAH patients have life-threatening deficiencies of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid, with limited treatment options and no new therapeutic modalities in over 50 years. While the current standard of care is associated with inevitable treatment-related side effects, specifically Cushing Syndrome and hyperandrogenism, HBMAT is developing HAT001 which focuses on treating hyperandrogenism without causing Cushing Syndrome. HAT001 would effectively cause reversible pharmacologic adrenalectomy, converting CAH patient treatment into that for primary adrenal insufficiency, which can be easily treated with much lower, physiological doses of glucocorticoid.
As a common and chronic endocrine disorder, PCOS affects over 10% women of reproductive age around the world and is the most common cause of anovulatory female infertility. HBMAT is also developing HAT002 for PCOS, targeting a pathway shared with CAH.
“I am very excited about this unique opportunity of developing antibody therapeutics for CAH, a rare genetic disease and PCOS impacting women’s health,” said Jingsong Wang, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Harbour BioMed, and Chairman of BOD of HBMAT. “The company is thrilled to take these exciting programs to the next level and translate this therapeutic antibody with very impressive biological functions into clinical benefits for patients with significant unmet medical needs.”
“I’ve worked closely with patient groups and tried to help those suffering from rare diseases over the past decades. HBMAT has already identified a clinical development candidate with excellent characteristics in preclinical functional activities including in vivo efficacy in various relevant animal models. I look forward to moving the development candidate into clinical trials and beyond.” said Dr. Philip Reilly, clinical geneticist and biotech entrepreneur, and board member of HBMAT.