TVM Life Science Ventures VII has announced the fund’s twelfth investment establishing AurKa Pharma Inc. AurKa Pharma Inc. plans to develop, to proof-of-concept, a compound originally discovered through one of Eli Lilly and Company’s (Lilly) research and development programs, with the potential to treat certain types of solid tumors, including small cell lung cancer and treatment resistant breast cancer. “The management team of AurKa Pharma Inc. is delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with the TVM Capital Life Science team to develop this promising anticancer agent to clinical proof-of-concept,” said Caroline Fortier, CEO of AurKa Pharma Inc.
AurKa Pharma Inc. will be initiating the first human dose study in multiple types of solid tumors. Cohort expansions are planned in two different solid tumor types to be selected at a later stage. “TVM Capital Life Science is proud to have enabled the creation of AurKa Pharma Inc., and to have secured the rights to a compound that aims to inhibit cancer cell division and thereby decrease tumorigenesis. This transaction is a testament to the benefits of our investment model,” said Dr. Luc Marengere, Managing Partner with TVM Capital Life Science.
“Furthermore, we are pleased to collaborate with Caroline Fortier and Mark Cipriano, who will act as CEO and CFO respectively for AurKa Pharma Inc. Caroline has had a longstanding career in the life science industry; Mark is a well-known CFO in the industry.” This is the twelfth investment for TVM Life Science Ventures VII, a venture capital fund domiciled in Montréal, Québec, which follows a new, capital-efficient investment approach to developing pharmaceutical assets to human proof-of-concept in single-asset companies. TVM Life Science Ventures VII is a unique arrangement between TVM Capital Life Science and numerous limited partners, including Lilly.
The goal is to finance and access innovation while managing risk and sharing reward. AurKa Pharma Inc. will leverage its extensive product development expertise to potentially bring its asset to human proof-of-concept. “TVM Life Science Ventures VII is an important part of our strategy as we strive to identify, access, and shape innovation in areas of unmet medical need,” said Darren Carroll, Lilly’s senior vice president of corporate business development.
“Lilly’s alternative risk-sharing approach has allowed us, together with other investors, to support the creation of project-focused companies, speeding the delivery of timely valued medicines to patients who are waiting.” “Beyond Lilly’s investment in the fund, TVM Capital Life Science and AurKa Pharma Inc. have the option to engage with Chorus, an autonomous unit of Lilly, to execute the clinical plan. This engagement would support efficiency and cost-effectiveness in reaching clinical proof-of-concept,” said Dr. Luc Marengere.