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  • TVM Life Science Ventures VII Announces Investment in AurKa Pharma Inc.

    September 19, 2016

Montréal, Québec, September 19th, 2016TVM Life Science Ventures VII today announced the fund’s twelfth investment establishing AurKa Pharma Inc., a company based in Montréal, Québec. 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.

About TVM Capital Life Science

TVM Capital Life Science is providing venture capital to the international pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries with more than 25-years of transatlantic investment track record and in excess of US$1.1bn under management. The life science team boasts more than 120 investments and almost 90 exits in the last 25 years, including more than 40 initial public offerings on all major U.S. and European stock exchanges, and combines long-standing international investment and company building experience with their track record of dedicated board work, extensive global networks in the world of life science research and product development and a direct knowledge of the local markets. TVM Capital Life Science currently invests from its 7th fund generation, TVM Life Science Ventures VII, with an integrated team of investment professionals. Fund generations III to VI are managed by Managing Partners, Dr. Helmut M. Schühsler and Dr. Hubert Birner out of the Munich office. The new fund TVM LSV VII is advised by Dr. Hubert Birner and Dr. Luc Marengere out of Montreal. or

About TVM Capital Group

TVM Capital is a group of globally acting venture capital and private equity firms with an operating track record of 30 years. Investment teams have financed more than 250 emerging companies across several industries since 1984. During the last 15 years the firm has become increasingly specialized in the most attractive and high-growth verticals in the broader healthcare markets, with focus areas in financing innovative products and technologies in the European and U.S. biopharmaceutical and medical device markets, as well as healthcare services in the Middle East and India. TVM Capital funds operate globally with dedicated Life Science venture capital funds advised by group members TVM Life Science Management in Montréal and TVM Capital in Munich, and its healthcare private equity fund managed by TVM Capital MENA out of Dubai.

About AurKa Pharma Inc.

AurKa Pharma Inc. is a special purpose company created to develop one compound to proof-of-concept. The project is fully financed by TVM Life Science Ventures VII. To date, the biopharmaceutical asset has completed GLP toxicology studies. AurKa Pharma Inc. plans to begin clinical development in Q3-2017. Once cleared for clinical development by regulatory authorities, the AurKa Pharma Inc. compound will be tested directly alone in solid tumors. Later on, the compound may be tested in one of a number of additional cancer indications with the goal of providing a clinical proof-of-concept of efficacy for cancer patients.  AurKa Pharma Inc. is funded by TVM Life Science Ventures VII and is led by an experienced management team.

This press release contains forward-looking statements about TVM Life Science Ventures VII and Lilly’s investment in a pre-clinical stage compound for the treatment of certain types of cancers that is being developed by AurKa Pharma Inc. It reflects Lilly’s and TVM’s current beliefs; however, as with any such undertaking, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug development. There is no guarantee Lilly will realize the expected benefits of the transaction, that the product will receive regulatory approval, or if approved, would be commercially successful. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, please see Lilly’s latest Forms 10-Q and 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies undertake no duty to update forward-looking statements.

General Partner

TVM Life Science Ventures VII (GP) Ltd.
11-15 Seaton Place, St Helier, Jersey
JE4 0QH, Channel Islands

Investment Advisor

TVM Life Science Management Inc.
2 Place Alexis Nihon, Suite 902, 3500 Blvd De Maisonneuve West, Westmount,
Montréal, QC H3Z 1X5 Canada