Giiant Pharma inc., a Montreal-based preclinical-stage biotech company, today announced the closing of US$11M (CAD$ 13.5M) million in Seed financing. The round was co-led by Amplitude Ventures and Genesys Capital, with participation from Fonds de solidarité FTQ, AmorChem II Fund, Theodorus Investment Funds, Anges Québec, and other angel investors.
Giiant’s Precision Delivery technology platform originated from the work of former Merck Frosst scientists. The Company has identified GT-2108 as a lead candidate for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). GT-2108 is an orally-administered, colon-specific PDE4 inhibitor prodrug with potent anti-inflammatory properties. Its unique prodrug format requires activation by the gut microbiota before the drug can elicit its effects. “With a unique ability to deliver an active PDE4 inhibitor to the site of inflammation in the gut, we expect limited systemic exposure and a safer profile” says Dr. Elizabeth Kwong, cofounder and Chief Development Officer of Giiant Pharma Inc. Overall, this improved therapeutic index should translate into a better quality of life for IBD patient.
Repeat entrepreneurs Maxime Ranger and Patrick Colin joined Giiant Pharma, as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Clinical Officer, respectively. “Precision Delivery is an exciting concept which has the potential to transform the field of gastroenterology,” explains Maxime Ranger, CEO of Giiant Pharma Inc.
“We’re excited to co-lead the financing, and once again partner with this highly-skilled management team,” says Jamie Stiff, Managing Director of Genesys Capital. “Giiant Pharma is a perfect fit with Amplitude’s vision of creating, building, and growing world-class Canadian precision medicine companies. We’re convinced Giiant has the talent and network to deliver on its goal of becoming a leading, global GI franchise that provides ground-breaking precision delivery technologies,” says Amplitude co-founder and partner Jean-Francois Pariseau.
With this financing, Giiant Pharma initiated its IND-enabling preclinical program with its lead candidate, GT-2108, for the treatment of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. The team is also in active discussions with the aim to further expand its pipeline of precisely delivered drug therapeutics for gastrointestinal disease.
ABOUT GIIANT PHARMA INC
Giiant is a preclinical-stage biotech company, with its proprietary Precision Delivery technology platform, designs gut-restricted, tissue-specific, small molecule, drug therapeutics with various biological targets in gastroenterology. Its lead program GT-2108 is a microbiota-activated PDE4 inhibitor prodrugs, with improved drug tolerability and enhanced therapeutic effect.
Amplitude Venture Capital (www.amplitudevc.com) deploys a growth model that has successfully been used to build Canadian companies with world-class management teams and scale companies to breakout potential. Amplitude, with offices in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, launched its first private capital fund in November 2019, a $200-million fund that applies a proven, evidence-based approach to investing in leading Canadian precision medicine companies.
ABOUT GENESYS CAPITAL
Genesys Capital (www.genesyscapital.com) is one of the largest Canadian-based venture capital firms exclusively focused on the life sciences industry. Genesys is focused on building companies in the high-growth sectors of healthcare and biotechnology. Through its expertise and network, Genesys Capital accelerates the development of commercially viable emerging companies that represent promising life sciences investment opportunities.
ABOUT THE FONDS DE SOLIDARITÉ FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ (www.fondsftq.com) is investing in a better society thanks to its over 700,000 shareholder-savers. Through its private equity and venture capital investments, the Fonds seeks to have a positive impact on society, namely in the health, environmental and innovation sectors. With net assets of $15.6 billion as at November 30, 2020, the Fonds supported over 3,300 partner companies and more than 220,000 jobs.
AmorChem (www.amorchem.com) is a leading early-stage venture fund dedicated to creating the next generation of biotech companies from academic research. Since 2011, with $87 million under management, AmorChem has financed over 33 research programs in academia and accelerated the spin-off and creation of several biotech companies, each with its own ground-breaking therapeutic paradigm. Overall it has led to ten startup companies where AmorChem played a role as founding investor.
ABOUT THEODORUS INVESTMENT FUND
Theodorus Investment Funds (www.theodorus.be) is a venture capital fund active in Belgium and Québec mostly dedicated to seed and early-stage founding, investing in biotech, medtech, digital and engineering applications. Theodorus brings projects numerous key assets helping outstanding researchers and entrepreneurs to create disruptive and innovative companies, with an independent vision oriented towards business and value creation, and a strong network of international experts. Operating since 17 years, Theodorus has €70 million under management in four funds, and has a portfolio of 40 investments.
ABOUT ANGES QUÉBEC
Anges Québec (www.angesquebec.com) is a leader in the Québec early-stage investment ecosystem. To date, its 230 Angel Investors have invested more than $117 million in the Québec economy, counting more than 157 companies in its portfolio.
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