Kymab Pulls In $90 Million to Speed Up Antibody Pipeline

Published: May 07, 2015

Kymab Pulls In $90 Million to Speed Up Antibody Pipeline
May 6, 2015
By Riley McDermid, Breaking News Sr. Editor

British biopharma company Kymab has raised $50 million in a Series B round that is the final portion of $90 million financing, the company said Wednesday, and will use the money to develop its antibody-generating technology, Kymouse.

The final $50 million has been a long time coming--the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Wellcome Trust and ponied up the initial $40 million last May. Today’s investment is primarily from two companies under the aegis of legendary British investor Neil Woodford, Malin Corp and Woodford Patient Capital Trust.

"We are delighted to welcome high quality investors of the caliber of Malin and Woodford to Kymab which support our goal to build Kymab into a sustainable biopharmaceutical company,” said David Chiswell, chairman and interim CEO of Kymab, in a statement. “The funds will be used to maximize the potential of the Kymab pipeline as we develop and commercialize monoclonal antibody medicines for difficult and novel drug targets."

As part of the deal, Dublin-based Malin will now place its CEO Adrian Howd on Kymab's board, and will gain one other seat.

"We believe Kymab has one of the most comprehensive humanized transgenic antibody platforms underpinned by strong intellectual property,” said Howd. “We are pleased to invest in a world leading antibody company."

Kymouse is a transgenic human antibody platform used to discover and develop fully human monoclonal antibody drugs. The company said that recent data published in Nature Biotechnology demonstrate that the Kymouse technology yields an antibody library constituted from 100 trillion different antibodies. The money at stake is significant: Antibodies are one of the best-selling classes of drugs today, with five of the top 10 best-selling drugs worldwide being antibodies.

Founded in 2009, Kymab has raised over $120 million of equity financing thus far.

"Kymab has assembled a talented leadership team; an efficient and effective discovery platform with broad application demonstrated by the pipeline of product opportunities already established,” said Kelly Martin, director of Malin. “We look forward to working with David and his team to fully realize the potential of the company's programs, initially in immune-oncology and immunology, and the broader technology platform."

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