Zenas BioPharma closes $200M round to broaden autoimmune potential for lead drug

Lonnie Moulder’s latest biotech has secured some new cash to expand its work in autoimmune diseases.

The startup, Zenas BioPharma, closed a $200 million Series C and will use the money to fund clinical trials for its lead program, obexelimab. Zenas is testing the drug in Phase 3 for IgG4-related disease — which can cause tumor-like growths on some organs — and in Phase 2 for multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Moulder, a longtime biotech exec who previously sold MGI Pharma to Eisai for $3.9 billion and Tesaro to GSK for $5.1 billion, is leading Zenas as CEO after Hua Mu retired.

Immunology is enjoying a surge of interest from venture capitalists and drug developers. Much of the recent excitement centered around the promising application of cell therapy in severe lupus patients from a small academic trial in 2022. Since then, several cell therapy biotechs…
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