Kymab Group Limited, a leading monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical group, has successfully secured a $100 million (£81 million) Series C financing.
The financing was led by new investors ORI Healthcare Fund LP with participation by Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, as well as follow-on investments from existing shareholders: Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Malin Corporation plc; CF Woodford Equity Income Fund; and Woodford Patient Capital plc.
The funds will enable Kymab to advance its proprietary pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies, the first of which is commencing clinical development in 2017.
Dr Dave Chiswell, CEO of Kymab, said: “We are delighted to welcome new investors ORI Fund and Hepalink and thank our existing investors for their continued support in our goal of building Kymab into a sustainable global biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline of products in four main therapeutic areas: immune-oncology, auto-immunity, haematology and infectious disease.”
“ORI Fund and Hepalink bring deep experience of the pharmaceutical industry. Hepalink has a global reach for their products and have biologics manufacturing capability in the US. This investment will help us maximize the potential of the Kymab pipeline as we develop and commercialize monoclonal antibody medicines for patients worldwide,” he added.
Ms Simone Song, Senior Partner of ORI Fund, added: “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to invest in Kymab, which is equipped with world class technologies, world class programmes, a world class team and world class investors. We look forward to working with Dave and his team to fully realize the potential of Kymab as it enters into the clinic with a global presence.”
Mr Li Li, President and Chairman of Hepalink, continued: “We have had a biologics strategy for a number of years and believe Kymab has one of the most comprehensive humanised transgenic antibody platforms, which is already delivering first-in-class antibodies. We are pleased to invest in a world leading antibody company and look forward to potential collaborative opportunities with Kymab.”
Kymab is using the Kymouse transgenic human antibody platform to discover and develop fully human monoclonal antibody drugs. Data published in Nature Biotechnology demonstrate that the Kymouse technology yields an antibody library constituted from 100 trillion different antibodies. From this deep library, rare high-quality antibodies can be selected and developed into therapeutics.
Antibodies are one of the best-selling classes of drugs today; five of the top ten best selling drugs are antibodies. This is because antibodies are natural products with exquisite specificity and potency, and generally have superior safety profiles. The challenge has been to capture the full human antibody repertoire and to recapitulate all its attributes.
The Series C follows the US$120 million Series A & B financings.