Vancouver-based Zymeworks, a biotherapeutics company, has raised US$61.5 million in Series A mezzanine financing. BDC Capital and Lumira Capital led the round with participation from other investors that included Eli Lilly and Co, Celgene, CTI Life Sciences Fund, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Perceptive Advisors, Teralys Capital, Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund, Brace Pharma Capital and Merlin Nexus. With the round, Dion Madsen, a senior managing partner at BDC Capital, will join Zymeworks’ board of directors, while Dr. Daniel Hétu, a managing director at Lumira Capital, will become an observer. The round’s proceeds will support clinical development of Zymeworks’ lead therapeutic candidates.
Zymeworks Announces $61.5 Million Financing to Support the Clinical Development of its Pipeline of Azymetric™ Antibody Therapeutics
Vancouver, Canada (January 8, 2016) – Zymeworks Inc. today announced the closing of a US$ 61.5 million Series A mezzanine financing to support the advancement of its Azymetric™ therapeutics pipeline. The financing was supported by a syndicate of U.S. and Canadian institutional investors, including all existing institutional and strategic investors. The financing was co-led by new investors BDC Capital and Lumira Capital, and joined by existing Zymeworks investors Eli Lilly and Company, Celgene, CTI Life Sciences Fund, and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. New investors in the financing include Perceptive Advisors, Teralys Capital, Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund, Brace Pharma Capital, Merlin Nexus and others.
Proceeds of the financing will support clinical development of Zymeworks’ lead therapeutic candidates, ZW25 and ZW33, which the Company plans to move into clinical development later this year. Dion Madsen, Senior Managing Partner in BDC Capital’s Healthcare Venture fund will join Zymeworks’ board of Directors, and Dr. Daniel Hétu, Managing Director in Lumira Capital, will join as an observer.
“This financing provides Zymeworks the capital and resources to move multiple potentially game changing therapeutic candidates not only into the clinic, but through to meaningful clinical inflection points,” said Dr. Ali Tehrani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zymeworks. “Furthermore, this financing adds the experience of seasoned U.S. and Canadian biotech investors, and demonstrates the support of our existing strategic and institutional investor base as we look forward to the next stage in our growth and evolution as a leader in the field of bispecific and multivalent antibody therapeutics.”
Added Mr. Madsen, “BDC Capital is excited to provide acceleration capital to Zymeworks at this important time in the company’s evolution. The company is building the leading technology platform for targeted therapies and the addition of this capital enables the company to advance life enhancing therapies into clinical testing.”
Added Dr. Hétu, “The potential of Zymeworks’ science and technology are underscored by the significant commitments made by leading oncology companies and biotech investors. Having closely followed the progress of the company for many years, we are excited to be a part of Zymeworks’ growth as they further leverage the Azymetric™ platform and their pipeline to build an enduring company with the potential to help many patients.”
MTS Securities, LLC, an affiliate of MTS Health Partners, and BMO Capital Markets Corp. acted as advisors to Zymeworks in the transaction.
About Zymeworks Inc.
Zymeworks is a privately held biotherapeutics company that is developing best-in-class Azymetric™ bispecific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company’s novel Azymetric™, AlbuCORE™, and EFECT™ platforms, and its proprietary ZymeCAD™ structure-guided protein engineering technology, enable the development of highly potent bi-specific antibodies and multivalent protein therapeutics across a range of indications. Zymeworks is focused on accelerating its preclinical biotherapeutics pipeline through in-house research and development programs and strategic collaborations. More information on Zymeworks can be found at www.zymeworks.com.
About BDC Capital
A subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), BDC Capital offers a full spectrum of specialized financing and investment solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their full growth potential. With more than $1.6 billion under management, BDC Capital takes a strategic, patient approach to nurture companies’ development over the long term. BDC Capital’s Healthcare Venture Fund invests in transformative Canadian companies that dramatically increase healthcare productivity by reducing healthcare costs while improving patient health and the experienced team invests in drugs, devices, diagnostics and digital health sectors. For more information, please visit www.bdc.ca/bdc-capital.
About Lumira Capital
Lumira Capital leverages over 25 years of experience as one of North America’s leading healthcare and life sciences venture capital investors. The firm invests in biopharmaceutical, medical device, health IT and consumer health companies whose products deliver transformative improvements in the lives of patients worldwide. Lumira Capital’s investment team has extensive industry experience as entrepreneurs, researchers, clinicians, business development professionals and investors. In addition to a longstanding presence in the U.S. with offices in Boston and San Diego, the firm continues to be the most active domestic healthcare investor in Canada, where it has offices in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. For more information, please visit www.lumiracapital.com.
Chief Financial Officer
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock