IgGenix Launches with $10 Million to Develop Therapeutics for Severe Allergies

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IgGenix Launches with $10 Million to Develop Therapeutics for Severe Allergies


Startup IgGenix, Inc. emerged from stealth mode with $10 million in Series A financing and a goal to advance the company’s novel antibody therapeutics platform for the treatment of food and non-food allergies, as well as other severe allergic conditions.

South San Francisco-based IgGenix was formed in 2019 by a team of researchers with the mission to develop first-in-class therapies for the millions of people who suffer from food and non-food allergies and other severe allergic conditions. The company uses a unique antibody-based therapeutic platform that allows it to capture and analyze B cells that express allergen-binding IgE antibodies to specific allergens. The company then infuses those B cells with powerful immune-modulating activities that turn them into IgG antibodies that can suppress allergic reactions.

Severe allergies, particularly allergies to foods, can be deadly. Citing recent study data, IgGenix said food allergies affect more than 200 million people across the globe, including 11% of adults in the United States and between 4% and 11% of children in the U.S. Every two to three minutes, there is an emergency room visit related to food-induced anaphylaxis, and food allergies result in a cost to the U.S. economy of $24.8 billion annually. In addition, related hospitalization rates have increased 265% in a 10-year period, the company said on its website.

The company made its public debut the same day France-based DBV Technologies announced the FDA rejected its Viaskin Peanut allergy skin patch technology. The debut also comes about eight months after the FDA approved Aimmune Therapeutics’ Palforza, an oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy.

IgGenix Chief Executive Officer Bruce Hironaka said the prevalence of severe food allergy in children and adults is increasing across the globe. That increase is outpacing a need for therapeutics that can block or prevent a life-threatening allergic reaction.

“We believe that through our novel antibody selection and engineering approach, we have the potential to improve the lives of millions of allergy sufferers,” Hironaka said in a statement.

The $10 million Series A was supported by Khosla Ventures with participation from Parker Ventures.

In addition to the infusion of cash, IgGenix also announced that it strengthened its leadership team with key appointments. The company named Richard Boismenu as its new chief scientific officer. Boismenu joins the company from his most recent role as head of product development at Coherus Biosciences. Before Coherus, Boismenu served as project team leader at Genentech where he led a number of immunology, ophthalmology and metabolic disorder development programs.

“I’m excited to join IgGenix at this pivotal time. Our proprietary single-cell genomic platform for drug discovery allows us to search through large numbers of human B cells for those expressing rare antibodies capable of triggering allergic reactions. These antibodies can be engineered as therapeutics to protect against a wide range of allergies,” Boismenu said in a statement.

Derek Croote, a co-founder of IgGenix, was tapped to serve as chief technical officer. At IgGenix, Croote is building on the work he performed at Stanford University, where he focused on applying mass spectrometry, single-cell transcriptomics, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatics to better understand a diverse set of diseases and immunological perturbations including food allergies, flu vaccination, dengue infection, and glioblastoma. Croote’s research led to a paper in Science that describes the first characterization of single human IgE B cells and the allergen-specific antibodies they produce.


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