The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joins existing investor, the Wellcome Trust, with each investing US$20 million in Kymab to advance clinical development of antibody therapeutics. Kymab's Series B Financing secures US$40 million investment from two of the largest foundations in the world
The funds will enable Kymab to maximise the potential of its KymouseTM 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.
"Kymab's highly innovative and technically advanced KymouseTM platform has overcome the problems which limited previous generations of human antibody-generating mice," said Dr David Chiswell, Chairman of Kymab. "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."
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.
"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," said Dr. Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "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 KymouseTM transgenic human antibody platform to discover and develop fully human monoclonal antibody drugs. Recent data published in Nature Biotechnology demonstrate that the KymouseTM 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.
"We are delighted to attract investment from two of the world's largest foundations," added Dr Christian Grøndahl, Chief Executive Officer of Kymab. "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."
"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," said Dr Richard Davis, at the Investments Division of the Wellcome Trust and Board Director of Kymab.
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 KymouseTM antibody technology.