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4 July, 2019 - 21:54 By Tony Quested

LifeArc pumps $30m into Cambridge-based Kymab

Simon Sturge of Kymab

Antibodies innovator Kymab, which has paved the way for a US IPO,  has joined forces with UK medical charity LifeArc to discover new medicines in a deal that has already brought $30 million investment to the Cambridge business.

LifeArc is making the equity investment in Kymab to gain access to the company’s IntelliSelect technology platforms to enhance its antibody discovery capabilities.

LifeArc made an initial $10m equity investment in Kymab, with a commitment to an additional $20m. 

Kymab will receive a percentage of revenues that LifeArc generates from any products discovered and commercialized using Kymab’s technologies. The partnership provides LifeArc with access to Kymab’s advanced suite of next generation antibody discovery technologies, building on the charity’s success to date in antibody generation and selection. 

These technologies include Darwin, one of Kymab’s new transgenic platforms that replaces the original transgenic platform, combined with its human antibody screening platform which together can quickly deliver candidate therapeutics with the most desirable drug-like properties. 

Kymab is developing a deep pipeline of novel antibody-based therapies focused on the discovery and development of fully human monoclonal antibody drugs using its proprietary technology platforms collectively called IntelliSelect. Simon Sturge recently succeeded David Chiswell as Kymab CEO to steer the company’s future fortunes.

The IntelliSelect technology platforms are designed to rapidly generate in vivo mature, fully human monoclonal antibodies. The IntelliSelect Screening technology combines single cell sequencing, genomics and proprietary bioinformatic algorithms to prioritise and select antibodies generated by the IntelliSelect Transgenic platforms that have the most desirable drug-like properties. 

Melanie Lee, CEO of LifeArc, said: “At LifeArc, our focus is to translate promising research into direct benefits for human health and we have been highly successful in this, particularly in the area of antibody engineering. 

“This unique opportunity with Kymab provides us with a new technology platform to rapidly generate the best antibodies across a range of therapeutic targets.”

Kymab CEO Simon Sturge added: “I am delighted that LifeArc, with its focus on transformational medical research which has led to drugs such as Keytruda®, has chosen our IntelliSelect platforms for its future antibody discovery programmes. LifeArc has a proven track record in discovering innovative, life-changing medicines for patients and I look forward to our working together on therapeutic programmes that have the potential to transform patients’ lives.”

Business Weekly previously reported that Kymab had submitted a confidential draft registration statement for a proposed IPO in the United States.

A recent posting on its website stated: “Kymab Group Limited has previously confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form F-1 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) relating to the proposed initial public offering of American Depositary Shares, each of which will represent one or a number of its ordinary shares. 

“The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. 

“The initial public offering is expected to commence after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

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