The Fonds de solidarité FTQ, CTI Life Sciences Fund, and Servier Canada have announced a combined investment of $21 million towards creating a new Quebec-based biotechnology startup, ILKOS Therapeutics.
ILKOS Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical firm that will work towards developing treatment for lower limb ulcers, will receive $7 million from each of the investment funds, making this the largest venture capital seed stage deal in recent Canadian history, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).
CVCA said that collaboration between the different types of investors – a global corporate investor, an institutional investor, and a venture capital fund – has allowed this round seed funding to be scaled to a greater degree, as it is more than twice the previous life sciences VC investment of $10 million by Versant Venture Management in 2013, when Versant created the Inception 4 biotech company tackling retinal eye disease. It is also 17 times greater than the average life sciences VC seed deal since 2013.
“ILKOS Therapeutics shows once again that Quebec can succeed in the life sciences sector,” said Normand Chouinard, the executive vice president of investments at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. “Our quality R&D and service infrastructures, combined with the availability of capital, make Quebec an optimal location for the development of new therapies.”
CVCA’s data indicates that since 2013, Quebec has had the largest amount of VC life science investment out of the provinces. The data reveals that some of the largest VC life science deals were early stage investments into Quebec-based companies, including a $127 million Series B financing round by DalCor Pharma and $60 million USD round by Clementia Pharmaceuticals.
The first two products that Grow will be integrating with Celero are its member onboarding solution and its digital omni channel lending solution, which allows for easier processing of loans. In the coming months, Grow will also integrate other FinTech products related to digital mortgages and SME lending, which they hope will help credit unions improve their customers’ financial wellbeing.
With the investment, ILKOS Therapeutics is hoping to become the first developer of an oral treatment for lower limb ulcers, resulting in a potential clinical breakthrough.