Blackstone unearths Uniquity Bio with $300M to explore Merck drug's I&I potential

What a time to be launching a new biotech focused on inflammation and immunology.

Uniquity Bio is the latest such company, unveiled by Blackstone Life Sciences on Wednesday with $300 million and a phase 2-stage lead asset. Solrikitug, an anti-TSLP antibody in-licensed from Merck & Co., was just given the green light by the FDA for two looming studies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, respectively. And Blackstone’s head of life science investments suggests the pipeline may soon grow.

“We are proud to partner with Uniquity’s team of veteran industry leaders as they advance solrikitug and expand their immunology and inflammation pipeline with additional programs in the near future,” Nicholas Galakatos, Ph.D., said in a release.

Consider this announcement a bat signal to the companies that missed out on the Aiolos Bio sweepstakes. That biotech similarly launched with more than $200 million in October 2023 with an anti-TSLP antibody and less than three months later, GSK came calling, buying the company for $1 billion with $400 million in milestone payments up for grabs. 

Uniquity touts solrikitug as a “highly potent” TSLP receptor binder, with possible application in a wide range of immunology and inflammation conditions. If successful, the company believes it will stand out in an increasingly crowded market. Uniquity expects the space to balloon more than 150% by 2032, with pharmas and new entrants alike seeking an opportunity to challenge AstraZeneca and Amgen’s anti-TSLP asthma med Tezspire. 

Uniquity is the latest in a series of seismic private financing rounds backing I&I companies. In the past week alone, Attovia Therapeutics launched with $105 million to treat itch conditions and Zenas added $200 million in series C capital for its autoimmune drug, obexelimab. In late March, the former leader of Merck-bought Prometheus launched Mirador Therapeutics with $400 million. 

Now, Uniquity has entered the fold with the backing of Blackstone’s full purse. 

“We’re excited about the work that Uniquity has done so far with solrikitug and look forward to providing long-term financial support to the company,” Senior Managing Director Kiran Reddy, M.D., said in this morning's announcement.