Kent biotech firm Ziarco secures Pfizer as backer and collects £3.75 million

UK-based biotech start-up Ziarco has closed the first tranche of what it reveals will be a £16.8 million Series A funding round.

Biotechnology Value Fund has led a deal in conjunction with Pfizer Venture Investments and backed Ziarco.

Canterbury-headquartered Ziarco is a clinical-stage biotechnology business focussed on what it calls the development of a ‘first-in-class’ therapeutics targeting inflammatory and allergic diseases.

The current transaction is worth £3.75 million and represents the first stage of a Series A funding round, which will eventually contribute £16.8 million of development capital to its coffers.

On the back of the deal, Ziarco has entered into an agreement with Pfizer for the exclusive rights to commercialise a portfolio of clinical, preclinical and research anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic assets.

Pfizer will receive equity as well as certain product-based milestone and royalty payments. The Ziarco business was co-founded by four former Pfizer colleagues, Steve Liu, Lynn Parkins, Arif Shivji and Mike Yeadon

The first tranche of the Series A will be used to continue development of the assets relating to Pfizer and to advance proprietary research, Ziarco says.

Yeadon, CEO of Ziarco, comments, ‘Ziarco was founded to address the significant need that still exists, more effective ways to treat disorders underpinned by inflammatory and allergic pathobiology.

‘Not only are we very fortunate at such an early stage in the company’s development to have licensed significant assets from Pfizer and secured funding from Biotechnology Venture Fund and Pfizer Venture Investments to progress development of these therapeutic agents.’

Liu, chief scientific officer at Ziarco, says that the company’s most advanced clinical program is a histamine which could ‘potentially’ be used to treat major diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and inflammatory skin conditions.

Pfizer Venture Investments is the corporate venture division of Pfizer, an American pharmaceuticals company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in the city of its listing.

The division does not currently have any other UK-based portfolio companies.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Venture capital funding