Slate Bio Launches with Seed Financing to Develop Next Generation IL-2 Therapies

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —Slate Bio, Inc., announced today the closing of a $1.75 million venture financing. Epidarex Capital led the investment round with participation from the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group Seed Fund, Center for Innovative Technology’s GAP BioLife Fund, VTC Seed Fund, PharmaDirections, Inc., management and others.  Slate is a pre-clinical biotechnology company developing paradigm shifting IL-2 compounds based on research conducted at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  IL233, Slate’s lead candidate, is a first in class drug that induces persistent remission in animal models of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

“We welcome the backing of Epidarex Capital, a highly regarded early-stage investor,” said Andrew J. Krouse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Slate. “They bring a superior track record of success in building companies stemming from their deep pharmaceutical industry and immunology experience as well as their strong understanding of the marketplace.”

Slate’s IL233 is a bifunctional IL-2 fusion cytokine that augments Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and tissue resident Tregs for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. IL233 combines the de-risking confidence of IL-2 and the synergy and durability of IL-33.  IL233 acts as a pharmacological jumpstart to rejuvenate the body’s inherent pathways to stop inflammation, halt mal-adaptive repair and promote regeneration of damaged tissues to restore homeostasis.  

Recent Phase 2 clinical trials of IL-2 have shown success, but have exposed the disadvantages of its short half-life. While Fc-Fusions and PEGylated low-dose IL-2 may improve the short half-life of IL-2, these biologics are restricted to a single pathway, a narrow therapeutic window and limited durability. Pre-clinically, Slate’s IL233 has demonstrated superiority by providing a second independent synergistic pathway that has greater tissue selectivity and improved pharmacodynamics, at lower doses and without side-effects.

“Slate’s experienced management team combined with its compelling science and its first in class IL233 cytokine offers a unique opportunity to develop effective therapies for patients with unmet medical needs,” stated Kyp Sirinakis, Managing Partner at Epidarex Capital.

In connection with the financing, Kyp Sirinakis and Bob Creeden, Managing Director of the UVA LVG Seed Fund will join CEO Andrew Krouse on the Slate Board of Directors.

About Slate Bio, Inc.

Slate Bio Inc. is a privately held pre-clinical stage biotechnology company, spun out of the University of Virginia, creating therapies that restore the body’s natural immunological response in various diseases. Slate’s lead compound is a bifunctional IL233 cytokine which augments Tregs and expands tissue resident Tregs.