Forbion Leads $19 Million Series B Financing of Escalier Biosciences to Advance its Topical and Systemic RORγt Therapies for Psoriasis and other Autoimmune Diseases

Advancing Escalier’s drug candidates through human proof-of-concept

NAARDEN, The Netherlands–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Forbion, one of the leading European life science venture capital firms,
today announced that it led the $19 million Series B financing of
Escalier Biosciences BV, a privately held biopharmaceutical company
based in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Escalier Biosciences is developing
both oral and topical RORγt drug candidates for psoriasis and other
autoimmune diseases.

The financing round was completed by existing investors, New Science
Ventures and BioGeneration Ventures and will be used to advance
Escalier’s RORγt compounds through human proof-of-concept studies.

The nuclear hormone receptor RORγt has emerged as the “master” regulator
of Th17 cell differentiation and the production of pro-inflammatory
cytokines, such as IL-17A and IL-17F. Increased production of these
cytokines has been linked to the pathophysiology of psoriasis. Small
molecule inhibitors of RORγt have been shown to reduce production of
IL-17 in immune cells and are promising therapies for psoriasis and
other autoimmune conditions.

Escalier expects its topical compound to enter the clinic in mid-2018.

“Escalier’s team has an impressive track record of developing novel
compounds targeting diseases with significant unmet medical need,” stated
Marco Boorsma, General Partner at Forbion who will join Escalier’s Board
of Directors
. “We are excited to participate in this financing with
New Science Ventures and BioGeneration Ventures and in supporting
Escalier’s efforts to develop best-in-class drugs for the treatment of
psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases.”

“RORγt is a validated target for psoriasis and other autoimmune
disorders and our drug candidates have the potential to provide the
desired efficacy and safety in psoriasis patients that is currently
unavailable with other topical or oral drugs,” said Raju Mohan,
Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Escalier and previously CEO of
Forbion’s portfolio company Akarna Therapeutics.
“We are incredibly
fortunate to have such a supportive syndicate of investors that share
our passion in developing novel therapies for challenging targets, such
as “RORγt.”

– ends-

Notes to Editors

About Escalier

Escalier Biosciences BV is a privately held biopharmaceutical company
developing novel small molecule therapeutics that target RORyt for the
treatment of psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders. Escalier’s lead
topical and oral drug candidates are currently in late stage preclinical
studies. Escalier is registered in The Netherlands with offices in
Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Encinitas, California.

About Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that results in raised, red,
scaly patches on the skin. It is estimated that 7.5 million Americans
and 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis. Between 10-30% of
people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis. Patients are
categorized into mild, moderate or severe with the National Psoriasis
Foundation. The majority of psoriasis patients are in the mild to
moderate category.

About Forbion

Forbion Capital Partners is a dedicated life sciences venture capital
firm with offices in The Netherlands and Germany. Forbion invests in
life sciences companies that are active in the pharmaceutical, as well
as the medical device space. Forbion’s investment team has built an
impressive performance track record since the late nineties with
successful investments in over 50 companies. Forbion manages well over
€800M across nine funds. Its investors include the EIF, through its
European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA and Dutch Venture Initiative
(DVI) facilities and the KFW through the ERP – Venture Capital
Fondsfinanzierung facility. Forbion also operates a joint venture with
BGV, the manager of seed and early stage funds focused on Benelux and


Escalier Biosciences
Chris Krueger
Chief Business
P: +1 858-945-2393
General Partner
P: +31 654 98 25 87
Partners (on behalf of Forbion)
Melanie Toyne Sewell / Ashley Tapp
+44 (0) 20 7457 2020