Sudo raises $116M to develop TYK2 inhibitors for MS, other diseases

Biopharmaceutical plans to advance 2 candidates into clinical trials in 2024

Patricia Inacio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inacio, PhD |

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Sudo Biosciences has raised $116 million in a Series B financing to support the clinical development of two inhibitors of the TYK2 enzyme for treating neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) and skin-related diseases.

One of the TYK2 inhibitors, given orally, is designed to efficiently reach the brain and counter disease-related inflammation. It may help treat both relapsing and progressive forms of MS, as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS.

The company also is developing a first-in-class TYK2 inhibitor that’s administered into the skin for autoimmune diseases like psoriasis. Clinical trials for both compounds are expected to launch later this year.

“We are thankful for the support of our premier life science investors, which will allow us to advance our two development candidates into the clinic,” Scott Byrd, Sudo’s CEO, said in a company press release.

“With this financing, we are well positioned to progress our pipeline of next generation TYK2 inhibitors and pursue our mission of improving care for the millions of people living with multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and other severe autoimmune and neurologic conditions,” Byrd added.

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MS is characterized by autoimmune attacks that lead to the progressive loss of myelin, the protective coat that surrounds nerve cells. The tyrosine kinase 2, or TYK2, is a key enzyme that mediates the communication between immune cells that may drive disease-related inflammation.

Preclinical studies in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a condition that’s often used to model MS, showed that TYK2 deficiency led to less severe disease and limited the infiltration of immune cells into the brain and spinal cord.

Traditional inhibitors of the TYK2 target a domain within the enzyme that is very similar in other enzymes, leading to off-target effects that may result in safety issues for these inhibitors.

However, Sudo’s TYK2 allosteric inhibitors bind to another domain that is more specific to the enzyme, improving their selectivity and safety.

The Series B financing round was co-led by Enavate Sciences and TPG, via its TPG Life Sciences Innovations and The Rise Fund.

“We were attracted to Sudo by the excellent science, experienced management team, and clinical potential of its brain-penetrant and topical [skin] allosteric TYK2 inhibitors,” said Edd Fleming, MD, executive vice president of commercialization at Enavate Sciences.

“Severe neurologic diseases such as progressive forms of MS, Alzheimer’s and ALS have limited treatment options, and we believe Sudo’s CNS program has the potential to address these unmet needs,” he added.

We are excited to partner with the Sudo team to unlock the potential therapeutic applications for TYK2 inhibition in neuroinflammation and autoimmune diseases.

Existing investors Frazier Life Sciences and Velosity Capital also participated in the financing round, and were joined by new investors, including Sanofi Ventures, Surveyor Capital, Monograph Capital, and Eventide Asset Management.

“We are excited to partner with the Sudo team to unlock the potential therapeutic applications for TYK2 inhibition in neuroinflammation and autoimmune diseases,” said Shinichiro Fuse, PhD, business unit partner with TPG Life Sciences Innovations.

“The pre-clinical data with Sudo’s CNS and dermatology TYK2 programs are very promising and support TYK2’s potential as a target in these therapeutic areas,” Fuse said.

Since its founding in 2020, Sudo has raised a total of $157 million. With this new round of funding, Fleming and Fuse will join Sudo’s board of directors, as will Chris Gagliardi, PhD, principal at Sanofi.