UK monoclonal antibody biopharma Kymab has secured funds of £81 million via a round of Series C financing.

The financing was led by new investors Hong Kong-based venture capitalist firm ORI Healthcare Fund and Chinese drugmaker Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co, but follow-on investments also came from existing shareholders the Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Malin Corporation plc, CF Woodford Equity Income Fund and Woodford Patient Capital plc.

Kymab says the cash stream will help it advance its proprietary pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies, the first of which will enter clinical development in next year.

"ORI Fund and Hepalink bring deep experience of the pharmaceutical industry. Hepalink has a global reach for their products and have biologics manufacturing capability in the US. This investment will help us maximise the potential of the Kymab pipeline as we develop and commercialise monoclonal antibody medicines for patients world-wide," commented Dave Chiswell, Kymab's chief executive.

Last month, Kymab signed a cross-licensing and development deal with Shanghai-based EpimAb Biotherapeutics to develop bispecific therapeutic antibodies against multiple targets.

The parties will concentrate on immuno-oncology and plan to combine antibodies sourced from Kymab's proprietary Kymouse platform with EpimAb's proprietary Fabs-In-Tandem Immunoglobulin platform to generate multiple bispecific antibodies.