Ziarco, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has completed a Series A financing. Biotechnology Value Fund L.P. and other affiliates of BVF Partners L.P. led the funding, with participation by Pfizer Venture Investments.
Ziarco, a newly created clinical-stage biotechnology company, announced today the completion of a Series A financing. Proceeds from the funding will be invested to advance the research and development of novel therapeutic agents to address inflammatory and allergic diseases. Biotechnology Value Fund L.P. and other affiliates of BVF Partners L.P. (“BVF”) led the funding, with participation by Pfizer Venture Investments (“PVI”).
In addition, Ziarco has entered into an agreement with Pfizer Inc. for the exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize a portfolio of clinical, preclinical and research assets. In return, Pfizer will receive equity as well as certain product-based milestone and royalty payments.
Ziarco is founded by Dr Mike Yeadon, President and CEO, formerly Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Allergy and Respiratory Research Unit, and three former Pfizer colleagues, Dr Steve Liu, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Lynn Purkins, Vice President and Head Clinical Development, and Dr Arif Shivji, Vice President and Head Development Operations and Business Development.
Ziarco’s pipeline includes a histamine H4 receptor antagonist programme, with a lead compound that has completed a Phase 1 multiple ascending dose study; a clinical stage cytosolic phosholipase A2 (cPLA2) inhibitor; histamine H3 receptor antagonists possessing CNS-sparing properties, with a lead compound in advanced preclinical development; as well as early-stage spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor molecules suitable for topical administration.
“Ziarco was founded to address the significant need that still exists for new, more effective ways to treat disorders underpinned by inflammatory and allergic pathobiology. Each programme in development at Ziarco has the potential to be a first-in-class therapeutic and because they target critical points within inflammatory and allergic pathways they offer treatment options for diverse and difficult to manage diseases,” noted Dr Yeadon. “Not only are we very fortunate at such an early stage in the company’s development to have licensed significant assets from Pfizer and secured funding from Biotechnology Value Fund and Pfizer Venture Investments to progress development of these innovative therapeutic agents, but we have in place a highly experienced team which has deep knowledge of these programmes and has the passion and expertise to deliver.”
“Scientists have discovered that many inflammatory and allergic diseases share common biological pathways and pathology. I believe that Ziarco has insights which account for the efficacy limitations of existing medicines. By leveraging this knowledge, we aim to develop innovative and more efficacious therapeutics that target specific points in these pathways for use in multiple inflammatory indications,” explained Dr Liu. “Our most advanced clinical programme is a histamine H4 receptor (H4R) antagonist, ZPL-3893787, which could potentially be used to treat several major diseases, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, pain and a variety of inflammatory skin conditions. This asset is supported by several other potential products in our pipeline, including a topical cPLA2 inhibitor which I believe is the most advanced in development worldwide.”
Mark Lampert, BVF’s President, commented: “We are very excited by our investment in Ziarco. The programmes have the potential to provide new, compelling, and differentiated therapeutics to patients with debilitating diseases. It is a privilege to be associated with Ziarco’s outstanding team of scientists and drug developers.”
Barbara Dalton, Vice President Venture Capital at Pfizer, stated: “Pfizer Ventures is delighted to have the opportunity to join BVF in supporting the growth of this company and the strong team led by Dr. Mike Yeadon to advance these assets outside of Pfizer for the benefit of patients with inflammatory and allergic diseases.”
Ziarco is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutics targeting inflammatory and allergic diseases. The company’s product pipeline includes a histamine H4 receptor antagonist programme with potential in multiple therapeutic areas, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, pruritus, skin diseases and pain. A lead H4 antagonist has completed a Phase 1 multiple ascending dose study. A second clinical-stage programme targets inflammatory disorders by inhibiting cytosolic phosholipase A2 (cPLA2). The pipeline is completed by a histamine H3 receptor antagonist programme possessing CNS-sparing properties which is in advanced preclinical development and an early-stage spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor programme suitable for topical administration. Investors in Ziarco include Biotechnology Value Fund L.P. and other affiliates of BVF Partners L.P. and Pfizer Venture Investments. Further information can be found at www.ziarcopharma.com.
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