Neil Woodford, one of the U.K's most prominent fund managers, has joined Bill Gates in backing a small biopharmaceutical firm, with a bumper $50 million investment, bringing combined fundraising to $90 million.
Kymab, a U.K. firm that specializes in producing monoclonal antibodies, or antibodies created from clones of a single cell in a lab, rather than from a person's own immune system, announced Wednesday it had completed a second round of fundraising.
The $50 million completes a $90 million round of financing. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust had contributed the initial $40 million in May last year.
Woodford, who at one stage managed more money than any other individual fund manager in the U.K. and most of Europe, backed Kymab through his Woodford Patient Capital Trust.
Investment company Malin Corporation, of which Woodford has a stake in through his investment firm, and the star manager's trust collectively sunk $50 million into the biopharma group.
The funding will be used to develop Kymab's "Kymouse platform" a program that uses mice and human antibodies to develop drugs to treat a variety of human diseases.
Founded in 2009, Kymab has raised over $120 million of equity financing which includes the $90 million from the now complete second round of financing.