Recently founded Ziarco, a clinical-stage biotech focused on therapeutics targeting inflammatory and allergic diseases, has closed an initial $6 million tranche of Series A financing totaling $27 million. The round was led by Biotechnology Value Fund, with participation by Pfizer Venture Investments.
Concurrent with the financing, Ziarco has entered into an agreement with Pfizer for the exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize a portfolio of clinical, preclinical and research anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic assets. In return, Pfizer will receive equity, as well as certain product-based milestone and royalty payments. Ziarco will use the proceeds of the financing to continue development of these assets and advance proprietary research.
"Ziarco was founded to address the significant need that still exists for new, more effective ways to treat disorders underpinned by inflammatory and allergic pathobiology,” said Dr. Mike Yeadon, CEO of Ziarco. “Each program in development at Ziarco has the potential to be a first-in-class therapeutic and because they target critical points within inflammatory and allergic pathways they offer treatment options for diverse and difficult to manage diseases.”
In addition to Yeadon, formerly vice president and CSO of Pfizer's Allergy and Respiratory Research Unit, Ziarco was co-founded by three former Pfizer colleagues: Dr. Steve Liu, vice president and CSO; Dr. Lynn Purkins, vice president and head clinical development; and Dr. Arif Shivji, vice president and head of development operations and business development.
"Our most advanced clinical program is a histamine H4 receptor (H4R) antagonist, ZPL-3893787, which could potentially be used to treat several major diseases, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, pain and a variety of inflammatory skin conditions, said Liu. “This is supported by several other products in our pipeline, including a topical cPLA2 inhibitor which is the most advanced in development worldwide."
Ziarco also formalized its board of directors. In addition to Yeadon and Liu, the board will consist of Mark Lampert, Matthew Perry and Joseph Sum, all of whom are from BVF Partners.