Ziarco Group Ltd, a British biopharmaceutical start-up focusing on inflammatory skin diseases, bags €27M for Series B financing round. This fast-growing 2 year old company already raised €21.4M in a Serie A lead by Pfizer and is now accelerating even more.
This second fundraising will enable clinical Phase II Proof-of-Concept studies for ZPL-389, a histamine H4 receptor antagonist for atopic dermatitis and ZPL-521, a topical cPLA2 inhibitor for psoriasis. ZPL-389 demonstrated an excellent safety and pharmacokinetic profile, the potential for once-daily dosing at a low dose, and complete inhibition of a relevant blood biomarker to confirm H4 specific drug activity. ZPL-521 is a potential best-in-class topical cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) inhibitor. Its unique profile includes high potency, slow offset, and rapid systemic clearance. ZPL-521 demonstrated in a Phase I single ascending dose study via the inhaled route in healthy volunteers that it is safe and well-tolerated up to high doses.
Psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are chronic and relapsing inflammatory diseases of the skin associated with various immunologic abnormalities. The first one has a worldwide distribution and atopic dermatisis is affecting up to 15% of children in some areas.
After two years, the investors are already intrigued by the start-up. New Enterprise Associates and Lundbeckfond Ventures co-led the round with new investor Amgen Ventures joining the existing investors BVF Partners L.P. and Pfizer Venture Investments. As part of the deal, Ed Mathers, partner, and Johan Kördel, senior partner at Lundbeckfond Ventures, will join Ziarco’s board.
Dr. Kördel said, “Ziarco’s lead compounds are attractive not only because they represent a novel approach to treating two highly prevalent diseases, but also because they have already been validated with significant preclinical and early clinical studies.“