Biotechnology startup Cour Pharmaceuticals has raised $105m in a Series A investment round to advance the development of a portfolio of medicines for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Cour aims to develop first-in-class, disease-modifying therapies capable of inducing antigen-specific tolerance against immune-mediated diseases.

The Series A round was led by co-led by Lumira Ventures and Alpha Wave Ventures. It also saw participation from Roche Venture Fund, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Angelini Ventures, and the JDRF T1D Fund.

With the funds, the clinical-stage biotechnology company will advance several fully owned product candidates that make use of its immune tolerance platform.

These include Phase 2a proof-of-concept clinical trials for Type 1 Diabetes and Myasthenia Gravis, as well as other pipeline opportunities.

These product prospects further solidify Cour’s position in the antigen-specific immunological tolerance sector.

The company already has an ongoing Phase 2 partnered programmes with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals in Primary Biliary Cholangitis and Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Celiac Disease.

Cour Pharmaceuticals founder and CEO John Puisis said: “The impressive syndicate of thought-leading investors and prominent strategic investors is a testament to Cour’s platform technology and our paradigm-changing potential for patients impacted by a variety of autoimmune diseases.

“We are excited to have this support as we advance our pipeline and revolutionise antigen-specific immune tolerance while avoiding immune system suppression in our mission to potentially bring to market life-changing therapies for patients.”

The company’s therapies are based on its proprietary antigen-specific immune tolerance platform.

Cour’s products are designed to reprogram the immune system to address the root cause of immune-mediated diseases.

The biotechnology startup’s candidates have shown their ability to generate antigen-specific immune tolerance and can treat a vast range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Lumira Ventures managing director Benjamin Rovinski said: “There is an urgent need for innovative strategies aimed at restoring self-tolerance safely and more effectively in autoimmune disorders.

“We believe Cour’s proprietary and strongly differentiated platform is a versatile and first-in-class approach to meet this critical medical need.”