Underdog Pharmaceuticals, a key investment of rejuvenation biotech VC Kizoo, has closed a $10 million round of capital.
Michael Greve’s Kizoo Technology Capital Group led the Series Seed II round for Underdog Pharmaceuticals, a pre-clinical stage pharmaceutical company focusing on the treatment and reversal of age-related diseases; the round saw participation from both existing and new investors.
Longevity.Technology: Accounting for up to 40% of deaths in Europe and the United States, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes are by far the world’s most life-threatening conditions. Their primary cause is atherosclerosis – the build-up of plaque in the arterial walls. Underdog’s engineered synthetic carbohydrate compound, UDP-003, is designed to target and remove toxic oxidised cholesterol, a key driver of arterial plaque accumulation.
SENS spin-out Underdog is not looking to simply treat age-related diseases; rather the company aims to tackle the causes using simple and direct interventions. By targeting oxidised cholesterol using rationally-designed molecules, it aims to provide the first true disease-modifying treatments for common age-related conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke using products based on novel derivatives of a well-known, safe compound.
It’s a novel way of looking at cardiovascular disease; custom-engineered cyclodextrins (polysaccharides that have existing industrial and pharmaceutical uses) tackle cholesterol derivatives such as 7-ketocholesterol. These toxic molecules have no known biological function, and the cyclodextrins are able to capture and remove them from cells.
Underdog was recently awarded the Innovation Passport under the United Kingdom’s Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP). This will enable faster patient access to its ground-breaking treatment for the prevention of heart attacks and stroke. The company expects to begin clinical trials in 2023.
Mike Kope, Underdog Co-CEO, said: “The ILAP award together with the new funds will enable us to further advance to deliver a simple and affordable preventive therapy for the world .”
Kizoo provides seed and follow-on financing with a focus on rejuvenation biotech. Having been entrepreneurs, VC and mentors in both high-growth tech and biotech companies for many years with multiple exits and significant value created for the founders, Kizoo now works to bring this experience to the growing field of rejuvenation biotech. Kizoo believes that this industry that will eventually outgrow today’s largest technology markets.
As part of Michael Greve’s Forever Healthy Group, Kizoo directly supports the creation of start-ups turning research on the root causes of aging into therapies and services for human application. Investments include Cellvie, Underdog, Revel Pharmaceuticals, Elastrin Therapeutics and others.
“We are really into this. This is the first deployment from our $360M commitment to fund the most promising rejuvenation startups through follow-up rounds to advance the therapies from clinical development to public availability”, said Frank Schueler, Managing Director of Kizoo Technology Capital .