AI and precision biologics innovators, iBio and AstralBio, team to build novel best-in-class obesity treatments

iBio (NYSEA:IBIO) entered into a collaboration agreement with AstralBio to discover, engineer and develop novel antibodies to treat obesity and other cardiometabolic conditions.

Yesterday, iBio announced a concurrent $15 million private placement financing (at a ~148% premium to its previous closing price) with ADAR1 Capital Management, Lynx1 Capital Management, Ikarian Capital and other institutional investors. The company will use a portion of the net proceeds to support new partnerships, including the collaboration with AstralBio.

The two announcements were well received by investors. At mid-afternoon on March 27, shares of iBio were quoted at $3.40, up $2.21, with trading volumes surpassing 140 million shares.

The goal of the collaboration is to rapidly build a novel, best-in-class cardiometabolic disease portfolio by combining iBio’s ability to create antibodies against hard-to-drug targets with AstralBio’s significant biologics experience and drug development expertise.

“The future of treating millions of patients affected by obesity and cardiometabolic disease globally will rely on next generation therapies aimed at enhancing both the efficacy and the tolerability profiles of current treatments. Notably, the collaboration’s lead program targeting the TGFb superfamily is designed to achieve a best-in-class profile,” Martin Brenner, DVM, Ph.D., iBio’s CEO and CSO, said in a statement.

“Our approach, which combines AI-driven epitope steering with the StableHu antibody optimizer and mammalian display, aims to validate proof of concept studies that underscore the immense potential of anti-myostatin strategies. Over the coming months, we expect to announce additional novel targets, each promising a similarly transformative profile,” Dr. Brenner added.

Dr. Brenner said, by leveraging his experience in obesity and cardiometabolic disease drug development from his time at Eli Lilly and Pfizer, he is eager to advance potentially groundbreaking compounds through the partnership with AstralBio, a team renowned for its entrepreneurship and track record to develop best-in-class and first-in-class therapies.

AstralBio’s Co-founder and CEO, Patrick Crutcher, said using machine learning tools in the discovery of biological drugs has the potential to shorten development timeframes and lower expenses while enhancing the likelihood of successful development.

“We look forward to working with iBio to mutually advance our goals to deliver meaningful precision therapies for patients efficiently,” he added.