Galecto Biotech has raised €79 million ($90 million) to take its treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) into a phase 2/3 trial. The OrbiMed-Ysios Capital co-led round sets Galecto up to power into late-phase development despite Bristol-Myers Squibb passing up the chance to buy it out.
Galecto’s lead candidate is TD139, a selective inhibitor of galectin-3. When inhaled by IPF patients, TD139 is designed to block galectin-3 and thereby stop the galactoside-binding lectin from triggering a pathway that activates macrophages and myofibroblasts. As these cell types are central to organ fibrosis, Galecto thinks stopping their activation can reduce or prevent such diseases.
New investors OrbiMed and Ysios have stepped up to bankroll Galecto’s pursuit of the idea. The pair were joined in the series C by fellow new backers HBM Healthcare, Bristol-Myers, Maverick Ventures and Seventure Partners, plus existing investors Novo Seeds, M Ventures and Sunstone Capital.