BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Invetx, a pioneering animal health biopharmaceutical company, today announced a $15 million Series A financing and founding collaborations with WuXi Biologics and AbCellera. The financing was led by Invetx’s founding investor, Anterra Capital, and will drive clinical entry of a first therapeutic candidate and preclinical development of Invetx’s broader pipeline of protein-based therapeutics. With this financing, the leading global biologics CDMO WuXi Biologics joins Invetx as an investor and a research collaborator.
“Invetx was created to translate the biotechnology revolution that has transformed human medicine to the world of animal health. We have built a foundational network of first-in-class global partners to deliver that translation and develop a sustainable platform for veterinary biopharmaceutical innovation,” said Juergen Horn, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Invetx. “This financing will support rapid growth on multiple fronts, including bringing our first pet antibody therapeutic into clinical studies in 2020, expansion of our team and substantial preclinical development across our pipeline.”
The global animal health medicines and vaccines market was estimated to be worth $34 billion in 2019. Its forecasted annual growth of over six percent is driven by increasing pet ownership and spend as well as demand for food animal products. The veterinary drug market has been marked by comparatively low innovation in recent decades. Although biopharmaceuticals dominate human drug development because of their long-lasting effects and ability to precisely address the molecular causes of disease, only one recombinant protein drug, an antibody, is available for veterinary use in the U.S. or EU.
“Animal health is at a tipping point, with a global market demanding new therapeutics but lacking innovators who can successfully drive an industry-wide transition to new technology platforms,” said Philip Austin, managing partner at Anterra Capital. “We believe Invetx’s focus on taking the best of human biopharma to animal health will be the path to effective long-term leadership in this emerging field.”
Invetx is collaborating with contract manufacturing leader WuXi Biologics to leverage its global development expertise and manufacturing capabilities.
“Development of biologics for pet use is an untapped area with significant global potential, which stands to benefit from decades of investment into highly efficient technologies across the human drug development lifecycle, from discovery through to commercial-scale manufacturing. WuXi Biologics is proud to collaborate with Invetx to harness our joint expertise and bring a new generation of treatments to the animal health industry,” said Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics.
Invetx has also established an animal health collaboration with Vancouver-based AbCellera, which will use its proprietary platform for antibody discovery to accelerate Invetx’s preclinical activities.
“We are excited to be a founding partner in the creation of Invetx. Through our success at the top-end of therapeutic antibody discovery for human health, we have built an integrated and industry-leading discovery engine we believe will be a powerful enabler of Invetx’s animal health programs,” said Dr. Carl Hansen, AbCellera’s CEO. “This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to work closely with bold entrepreneurs and investors at all stages of venture creation, and to deliver innovation that enables and accelerates their programs.”
Invetx is building the world’s premier biotechnology platform for protein-based therapeutics in animal health to transform standards of care in veterinary medicine. The Invetx team of highly experienced R&D leaders from both human biotech and animal health is supported by best-in-class biotechnology partners and an extensive network of industry experts, veterinary scientists and clinicians. Invetx is a private company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, see invetx.com.
Anterra Capital is a specialist venture capital investor dedicated to financing the growth of technology-driven companies with incredible potential in food, agriculture and animal health. Anterra is a provider of patient strategic capital as part of a global network of growth capital funds supported by financial services multinationals Rabobank and Fidelity. For more information, see anterracapital.com.
About WuXi Biologics
WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company, is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to empower organizations to discover, develop and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. Our company history and achievements demonstrate our commitment to providing a truly ONE-stop service offering and strong value proposition to our global clients. As of June 30, 2019, there were a total of 224 integrated projects, including 106 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 102 projects in early-phase (phase I and II) clinical development, 15 projects in late-phase (phase III) development and one project in commercial manufacturing. With total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production planned in China, Ireland, Singapore, and the U.S. exceeding 280,000 liters by 2022, we will provide our biomanufacturing partners with a robust and premier-quality global supply chain network. For more information on WuXi Biologics, please visit www.wuxibiologics.com.
About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is a privately held company that engages in partnerships to discover and develop next-generation therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera’s single-cell platform integrates end-to-end capabilities for therapeutic antibody discovery through a unique combination of technologies including proprietary immunizations, microfluidics, high-throughput imaging, genomics, deep computation, artificial intelligence, and laboratory automation. Ultra-deep screening of single B cells allows unprecedented access to natural immune responses, enabling rapid isolation of large and diverse panels of high-quality lead antibodies from any species, including humans. For more information, visit www.abcellera.com.