Kymab rakes in $40 mln Series B funds

Kymab has received $40 million in Series B financing. The investors were the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. Based in Cambridge, England, Kymab is a monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical firm.

PRESS RELEASE

CAMBRIDGE, England, May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — CAMBRIDGE, England, May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –Kymab, a monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical company, announced today it has successfully raised US$40 million in a Series B financing. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joins existing investor, the Wellcome Trust, each investing US$20 million.
The funds will enable Kymab to maximise the potential of its Kymouse™ platform and advance its proprietary pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies in areas of significant unmet medical need. Kymab will also collaborate with the Gates Foundation and its partners on vaccine antigen discovery research and development with an initial focus on malaria and HIV.
Dr Christian Grøndahl, Chief Executive Officer of Kymab, said: “We are delighted to attract investment from two of the world’s largest foundations. This is a strong financial and scientific endorsement of Kymab as we advance our proprietary pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics in areas of significant unmet medical need, including cancer and inflammation.”
Dr David Chiswell, Chairman of Kymab, added: “Kymab’s highly innovative and technically advanced Kymouse™ platform has overcome the problems which limited previous generations of human antibody-generating mice. This increased financial strength and addition of new long term investors gives the Company a strong foundation on which we can build a global biotechnology company.”
Dr Richard Davis, at the Investments Division of the Wellcome Trust and Board Director of Kymab added: “Syndicating this Series B financing with a like-minded, long term investor such as the Gates Foundation signals our collective intention to support Kymab and its management team in realising its full potential as a sustainable and successful biotechnology company.”
Dr. Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commented: “We are excited to work with Kymab in pursuit of research and development of drugs and vaccines to address diseases that have a disproportionate impact on the world’s poorest. We believe Kymab has one of the most comprehensive transgenic technologies to date, capturing the entire human IgG diversity and are pleased to support the Company as it enters its next stage of growth.”
Kymab is using the Kymouse™ transgenic human antibody platform to discover and develop fully human monoclonal antibody drugs. Recent 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.
To complement the growth of its internal pipeline of programmes, Kymab will seek to enter into a limited number of strategic collaborations to identify and develop therapeutic antibodies in a range of diseases. In addition, Kymab has established Kymab Access, a programme that enables academic researchers to pursue the discovery and development of novel human monoclonal antibody therapeutics and vaccines by partnering with Kymab and its world leading Kymouse™ antibody technology.
About Kymab
Kymab is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of fully human monoclonal antibody drugs using its proprietary Kymouse™ transgenic antibody platform.
Kymouse™ has been designed to maximise the diversity of human antibodies produced in response to immunisation with antigens. Selecting from a broad diversity of fully human antibodies assures the highest probability of finding that rare drug candidate with best-in-class characteristics. Kymab is using the platform for its internal drug discovery programmes and in partnership with pharmaceutical companies. The first Kymouse™ antibody discovery agreement was concluded with Novo Nordisk in 2013.
Founded in 2009, Kymab raised USD30m of equity financing in 2010 from the investment division of the Wellcome Trust. It has an experienced management team with a successful track record in drug discovery and development and has 10 current therapeutic antibody discovery programmes in cancer and inflammation. For further information, please visit http://www.kymab.com .
About Kymab Access
Kymab is committed, with the support of its primary investor, The Wellcome Trust, to collaborate with leading academic experts. Kymab Access is a programme that enables academic researchers to pursue the discovery and development of novel human monoclonal antibody therapeutics or vaccines by partnering researchers with Kymab and its world leading Kymouse™ antibody technology. Kymab Access is administered by Kymab Access Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kymab established solely for this purpose with a confidentiality firewall between its operations and those of Kymab.
For further information, please visit http://www.kymabaccess.org/Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. For more information, please visit http://www.gatesfoundation.org/
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests. http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/

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