MONTREAL & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inception IBD today announced the completion of a $14.1 million Series A financing led by Versant Ventures and joined by Fonds de solidarité FTQ, along with existing investor Inserm Transfert Initiative (ITI). The funds will be used to advance a portfolio of therapeutics targeting the underlying pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Paul C. Anderson, a veteran research and development executive, was appointed Chief Scientific Officer and Site Head of Inception Sciences' new Montréal research facility.
Inception IBD was co-founded by Inserm-affiliated researchers Drs. Eric Ogier-Denis, Yoram Bouhnik, Xavier Treton and Jacques Mizrahi and aims to advance novel targets identified from genomic analysis of IBD tissue and from proprietary drug discovery tools licensed from Inserm. The company was seeded by Versant and ITI in 2014 and has been incubated by the Inception Sciences team over the past 18 months. Inception IBD separately announced today a strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation.
"Eric, Yoram and Xavier are leaders in the field of IBD and we are excited to build upon their important discoveries and their translational platform," said Dr. Anderson. "There continues to be significant unmet need in IBD and an immense opportunity to develop new drugs and biomarkers leveraging improved understanding of the underlying causes of initiation and progression of the disease."
The translational IBD drug discovery program will be led by the Inception Sciences team in Montréal and is the first company to be launched from the Québec-based research site backed by Versant. "This venture combines promising new insights and tools in an important field with the capabilities of a seasoned discovery research team," said Brad Bolzon, Ph.D., Chairman of Inception Sciences and Managing Director at Versant Ventures. "We are very pleased to be joined by an international syndicate committed to supporting the company in its efforts to advance new therapies towards the clinic."
"Today's announcement is an example of Versant Ventures' leadership in building opportunities from academic research, as well as its plan for Québec. Inception IBD's launch in Montréal not only creates high quality jobs here, but also brings back to Québec top scientists, including Dr. Paul Anderson. At the Fonds we constantly aim for partnerships with the most dynamic and proactive groups to execute our investment strategy in biotechnology in Québec. We are happy to say that Versant is part of that strategy," said Alain Denis, Senior Vice-President, Innovation, for the Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
About Inception Sciences
Inception Sciences is a drug discovery incubator and company, with research sites in San Diego, Vancouver and Montréal. In collaboration with pioneering academic researchers, Inception Sciences has created multiple new start-up companies for translating breakthrough scientific insights into novel therapies. For more information visit www.inceptionsciences.com.