Alumis has secured $259m in a Series C funding round to progress the development of its clinical-stage pipeline of oral therapies to address immune dysfunction.

Life sciences investment company Foresite Capital and new investors Samsara BioCapital and venBio Partners jointly led the funding round.

Additional participation came from other new investors, including SR One, Cormorant Asset Management, Lilly Asia Ventures, Nextech and the Ally Bridge Group.

Alumis will use the funding proceeds to commence Phase III studies of its lead candidate, ESK-001, for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, in the second half of this year.

The investment will also support two ongoing Phase II trials for the allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 inhibitor ESK-001 in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and non-infectious uveitis.

The trials include the Phase II STRIDE trial and an open-label extension study in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis patients, as well as the Phase IIb LUMUS trial of ESK-001 for SLE patients, and the proof-of-concept Phase II OPTYK-1 trial in non-infectious uveitis.

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The funding will enable the development of Alumis’ precision data analytics and multi-platform approach to investigate ESK-001’s potential in other autoimmune indications.

This includes A-005, a TYK2 inhibitor for treating neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative ailments, and earlier-stage internal pipeline programmes.

Samsara BioCapital founder and managing general partner Srinivas Akkaraju and venBio Partners managing partner Richard Gaster will join the board of directors of Alumis.

Alumis president and CEO Martin Babler stated: “We are pleased to announce our successful Series C financing and we are grateful for the support of our strong investor syndicate, a group that shares our commitment to transforming the treatment paradigm for patients living with immune-mediated diseases.

“This investment will support the continued clinical development of ESK-001, building on promising data that have demonstrated full, sustained target inhibition leading to a potentially best-in-class oral TYK2 inhibitor profile. It will also support the continued advancement of additional pipeline programmes powered by our proprietary precision immunology platform for target discovery and clinical development.”