Imperial Innovations Group, SV Life Sciences and Abingworth invested 19 million pounds in Series A funding in Kesios Therapeutics, an early stage company developing therapeutics for treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers. Kate Bingham of SV Life Sciences and Kurt von Emster of Abingworth joined the Kesios board.
Kesios Therapeutics Ltd (“Kesios”), an early-stage company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers, announced today the successful closing of a £19 million (approx. $28.5 million) Series A financing. The syndicate compromises a consortium of leading venture investors, including Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM:IVO), and international investment groups, SV Life Sciences and Abingworth.
“Kesios has made swift progress in building a world-class management team to advance its innovative science and drug development. Being able to attract co-investors such as SV Life Sciences and Abingworth is testament to the potential of Kesios’ approach,” noted Maina Bhaman, Director of Healthcare Ventures, Imperial Innovations.
As part of the Series A Investment Kate Bingham, SV Life Sciences, and Kurt von Emster, Abingworth, have joined the Kesios Board.
Kate Bingham, Managing Partner at SV Life Sciences said: “We are thrilled to be backing such a strong oncology management team, led by Dr Paoletti, with a great record in translating novel scientific ideas into clinically meaningful new drugs for patients.”
“Kesios’ novel targeted oncology approach and innovative global clinical path makes this an exciting investment,” said Kurt von Emster, Managing Partner of Abingworth.
Kesios is developing drug candidates that exploit a novel target within the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. The target appears to be critical in promoting cancer cell survival in certain white blood cells of patients with multiple myeloma and other malignancies.
Concurrent with the financing, Kesios has expanded its leadership team appointing Paolo Paoletti, MD, as Chief Executive Officer. He joined the company as Executive Chairman earlier in 2015. Jane Robertson, MD, joined as Chief Medical Officer after leading clinical development activities at AstraZeneca for a number of oncology products, including most recently the development and registration in the EU and US of Lynparza®. Peter Charlton was appointed Chief Scientific Officer having previously worked at Vertex as VP, Biology. Dayle Hogg has also joined Kesios as Chief Operating Officer following his role as an investment manager at Imperial Innovations.
“With this substantial Series A financing, a team of experienced and highly motivated scientists, supported by a strong investment syndicate, has been put in place to deliver a new treatment option for patients with multiple myeloma,” said Paolo Paoletti, CEO.
“The science developed at Imperial College London has led to the identification of a new target pathway to exploit in multiple myeloma and a clinical candidate that appears to restore apoptosis in myeloma cancer cells. We are now well placed to explore if this novel mechanism of action may have an impact on patients with multiple myeloma,” Dr Paoletti added.
About Kesios Therapeutics
Kesios is developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers. KES-0001, the company’s lead drug candidate, is about to enter clinical studies as a potential treatment for multiple myeloma. The company was created to commercialise research led by Professor Guido Franzoso from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London. For further information, visit www.kesios.com.
Imperial Innovations Group plc (“Innovations”) creates, builds and invests in pioneering technology companies and licensing opportunities developed from outstanding scientific research from the ‘Golden Triangle’, the geographical region broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford. This area has an unrivalled cluster of outstanding academic research and technology businesses, and is home to four of the world’s top 10 universities, as well as leading research institutions, the cream of the UK’s science and technology businesses and many of its leading investors.
Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas, through the licensing of intellectual property, by leading the formation of new companies, by recruiting high-calibre management teams and by providing investment and encouraging co-investment. Innovations remains an active investor over the life of its portfolio companies, with the majority of Innovations’ investment going into businesses in which it is already a shareholder.
Since becoming a public company in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £346.0 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK academic research. In addition, the Group has agreed £80.0 million in loan facilities from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Between Innovations’ admission to AIM (August 2006) and 31 July 2015, Innovations has invested a total of £236.8 million across its portfolio companies, which have raised collectively investment of £1.3 billion. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.imperialinnovations.co.uk
SV Life Sciences
SV Life Sciences is a leading, international life sciences venture capital firm. SVLS affiliated funds have been investing in life sciences companies since the early 1980s and the Firm closed its first dedicated life sciences fund in 1994.
SVLS’ team of 32 professionals is organized according to experience and specialization into three practice areas: Biotechnology/Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Devices/Instrumentation, and Healthcare Services/Healthcare IT. These individuals’ diverse and complementary skill sets and experiences enable SVLS to tailor an investment team for almost any life science business. Typically, SVLS recruits operating executives, called Venture Partners, who have distinguished careers in the life sciences fields and can bring extensive operating expertise to the SVLS portfolio of investments. They assist in sourcing, building and exiting investments successfully. In some cases, these individuals are promoted to serve as Partners and/or Managing Partners within the Firm.
SVLS employs a close symbiosis between operating and financial professionals which has led to significant success over five investment funds. SVLS has offices in Boston, London and San Francisco. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.svlsa.com.
Abingworth is an international investment group dedicated to collaborating with life sciences entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into products that have a dramatic impact on health. With over $1 billion under management, Abingworth invests at all stages of development, from start-ups to publicly traded companies, and across all life science sectors.
Supporting its portfolio companies with a team of 27 at offices in London, Menlo Park (California) and Boston, Abingworth has invested in more than 135 life science companies, completed 60 IPOs and 41 mergers and acquisitions.