Hong Kong-based healthcare fund management firm ORI Capital has decided to exit Kymab, a British biopharmaceutical company that specializes in vaccines and novel drug solutions. ORI has sold its Kymab investment to Sanofi for an upfront price of $1.1 billion, plus up to $350 million in subsequent payments depending on the attainment of specific milestones. The full payment of the deal is set to be completed in the first half of the year.

Sanofi’s acquisition of ORI Capital’s stake in Kymab hands over to the French pharmaceutical giant the rights to the proprietary KY1005 antibody therapy. This medical technology is touted to have the potential of treating a wide array of illnesses that involve inflammation and abnormal immune system responses. Additionally, the deal secures Sanofi the KY1044 cancer treatment system, which is currently undergoing Phase I and II development.

The investment in Kymab was the biggest ORI Healthcare Fund investment. It was the main investment of ORI Fund I, which participated in Kymab’s Series C funding round in November 2016. Follow-up investments to Kymab were made under ORI Fund I in 2019 and 2020.

Simone Song, ORI Capital Founder and Senior Partner, describes the deal as a “successful divestment” for an important milestone ORI Capital has reached with its ORI Fund I. Song said that they have attained an exit multiple of 2.88x with it.

Song added that ORI Capital is elated that one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies is taking over its investment in Kymab. “We are delighted to see the recognition of Kymab’s excellence by Sanofi and look forward to seeing patients benefit from potential first-in-class treatments for a range of immune and inflammatory diseases,” Song said.

Along with the Kymab divestment announcement, ORI Capital also revealed that it has capped the first close of its ORI Healthcare Fund II (ORI Fund II). This new investment vehicle has a target fund of $400 million, which is in line with the plan to double the company’s initial fund.

ORI Healthcare Fund II aims to provide more investments into healthcare companies worldwide with an emphasis on businesses that deal with drug delivery, therapeutics, and diagnostics for major diseases and illnesses known for their high mortality rates. Startups or businesses considered for the fund will be selected through fundamental research and quantitative analysis.

ORI Capital has yet to reveal the amount they have secured in the first ORI Fund II close. However, Reuters has reported that it has attracted around $112 million in capital commitments. ORI Fund II is expected to reach its final close by the end of 2021.

Founded in 2015, venture capital firm ORI Capital was established with a special focus on addressing serious diseases. “To be socially impactful, we prefer to invest in innovative companies that tackle large diseases with high mortalities,” Simone Song said.

ORI Capital’s portfolio of businesses includes drug delivery firm Enable Injections, innovative gene therapy company Orchard Therapeutics, biotechnology company TriSalus Life Sciences, next-generation sequencing specialist Pillar Biosciences, oncolytic immunotherapy developer CG Oncology, medical imaging firm Arterys, and nutraceutical maker Ponce De Leon Health.