This is the first investment by Accel-Rx, a new national health sciences accelerator launched to foster growth of Canadian health science start ups, as well as the first coinvestment under the seed funding partnership with BDC Capital.
VANCOUVER, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - Accel-Rx, a new national health sciences accelerator and Centre of Excellence for the Commercialization of Research (CECR), announced today it and its seed funding partner BDC Capital, have each invested $500,000, for a total of $1 million, in Encycle Therapeutics, an early-stage biotechnology company developing a proprietary macrocycle synthesis platform technology. The investment was made alongside other investors including Takeda Ventures, Inc. and MaRs Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) for a total investment of $2.85 million.
Natalie Dakers, President and CEO of Accel-Rx stated, "Canada is home to promising scientific innovation which provides the foundation to produce internationally competitive health sciences companies." She added, "It is Accel-Rx's mandate to fill a funding gap and to provide early support to the most promising health sciences ventures, amongst Accel-Rx's six member CECRs – companies like Encycle - to help them attract venture capital and maximize their potential for successful commercialization. "
"This funding from Accel-Rx and BDC Capital will enable us to further explore the vast potential of our technology and to de-risk it to the extent that major transactions will be enabled," said Dr. Jeffrey Coull, President and CEO of Encycle Therapeutics. "We are pleased Accel-Rx supports our hybrid business model of developing innovative therapies in-house and applying our proprietary chemistry to third parties." The financing will also allow Encycle to build on research collaborations with several pharmaceutical companies and ultimately position it for a large Series A transaction.
"We are delighted to finalize the first coinvestment with our partner Accel-Rx, thus helping commercialize innovative health science in Canada," said Michael Mahon, Director, Strategic Investments and Partnerships at BDC Capital. Encycle Therapeutics is a great first deal, and we look forward to seeing the company growing to join the ranks of Canada's high impact firms. Catalyzing private sector investment in Accel-Rx backed ventures, such as Takeda's strategic investment in Encycle, is exactly what we set out to achieve with the Accel-Rx seed funding partnership, so we are very pleased with the outcome." Under the seed funding partnership, Accel-Rx and BDC Capital intend to co-invest in up to three to four companies annually.
Encycle develops aziridine aldehyde-based macrocycles, called nacellins, which possess several advantages over existing macrocycles, such as enhanced cell permeability. The financing will support the ongoing development of Encycle's unique platform chemistry and advance the company's pipeline of novel therapeutics. Encycle is a portfolio company of MaRS Innovation, an Accel-Rx partner CECR that commercializes the most promising research breakthroughs from 15 of Toronto's top universities, institutions and research institutes.
Accel-Rx is a new Canadian-focused health sciences accelerator supporting the creation and development of early-stage health sciences companies. Accel-Rx provides resources to health sciences start ups to help maximize their potential and enable them to stay and grow in Canada and become the next generation of innovative health sciences anchor companies. Along with its partners, Accel-Rx invests seed capital and acts as a national connectivity hub for entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and technical and business experts. Accel-Rx is a National Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.
About Encycle Therapeutics
Encycle Therapeutics is a start-up drug discovery company that is exploiting a novel synthetic method to generate "nacellins," more drug-like cyclic peptides. The company has generated several scaffolds that are membrane permeable and orally bioavailable, such nacellins being ideal for targeting protein – protein interactions. Encycle's lead program focuses on the development of a non-immunogenic, orally bioavailable inhibitor of integrin alpha-4-beta-7 for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The company has also entered into several ongoing research collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies, including GSK, Merck, Pfizer and Takeda Ventures, Inc.
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.
From venture capital and equity, to growth and transition capital, our team of over 100 experienced, local professionals partner with entrepreneurs to identify and meet their needs on flexible terms. Some of the sectors in which we specialize include IT, industrial/clean/energy technology, and healthcare. For more information, please visit www.bdccapital.ca or follow us on Twitter at @BDC_Capital.
Image with caption: "Accel-Rx (CNW Group/Accel-Rx)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151005_C8909_PHOTO_EN_513030.jpg
For further information: Natalie Dakers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator, Direct Telephone: 604-788-0277, [email protected]