Aravax secures US$20 million Series B funding for peanut allergy therapy

Innovation

Peanut allergy affects 1-2% of the global population but is greatly underserved by the current approved treatment options which use natural extracts from peanuts.
Aravax’s PVX108 is a novel and highly differentiated specific pharmacotherapy developed using the company’s platform technology. | Image source: Supplied

Aravax, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing the first safe, convenient, and precisely targeted immunotherapeutic for peanut allergy (PVX108), has commenced its series B funding round with an investment of US$20m from leading Australian life science investors, Brandon Capital and Tenmile. The funding will enable Aravax to initiate Phase 2 trials of PVX108 while it looks to raise further capital to accelerate the development program.

Peanut allergy affects 1-2% of the global population but is greatly underserved by the current approved treatment options which use natural extracts from peanuts. These therapies need to be administered every day, indefinitely, and require onerous precautions to manage the risk of treatment-induced systemic reactions.

Aravax’s PVX108 is a novel and highly differentiated specific pharmacotherapy developed using the company’s platform technology. It does not contain peanut proteins which put patients at risk of serious side effects. It is designed to precisely retrain the immune system to tolerate peanut allergens, and requires monthly, rather than daily dosing.

“The support from our industry-leading investors is a great show of confidence as we progress PVX108 into Phase 2 development,” says Dr Pascal Hickey, CEO, Aravax. “PVX108 has revolutionary potential because we have engineered out the safety risks associated with current approaches. Furthermore, the precise action of PVX108 affords a vaccine-like dosing regimen which is expected to be more convenient than the daily dosing required for other therapies, likely resulting in better adherence.”

Aravax has received a green light for its Investigational New Drug (IND) application from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has a Clinical Trial Notification in place with Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This allows Aravax to progress the Phase 2 clinical trial program at clinical trial centres in the U.S. and Australia. The trial will soon be initiated at several experienced allergy clinics, and further incoming capital will be used to expand the study and accelerate development work towards Phase 3.

Dr Pascal Hickey, CEO, Aravax.
Dr Pascal Hickey, CEO, Aravax. | Image source: via Brandon Capital/ by Chris Hopkins

“Witnessing the positive data from pre-clinical studies and Phase 1, we’re excited about the potential of the therapy in creating a safer, more convenient treatment for people with peanut allergies,” says Dr Chris Smith, Partner at Brandon Capital.

Tenmile’s Executive Chair, Dr Steve Burnell, adds that “this novel peptide immunology for treating peanut allergy addresses a large, unmet medical need and has the potential to reduce the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions for the millions of people across the world who live with this condition. We are particularly excited about Aravax’s novel platform technology which has potential application against other allergens.”