TAICANG, Suzhou, China, Jan. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Connect Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd., a clinical-stage company that discovers and develops novel immune modulators for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer, today announces the completion of a $20 million Series A financing. Qiming Venture Partners led the financing round and was joined by Northern Light Venture Capital, Lapam Capital and Cowin Venture Capital. This financing follows on a recently closed Pre-A round of $5 million participated by Cowin Venture Capital, Anlongmed Fund, and XinYue Equity.
Proceeds from this financing will be used to support the upcoming Phase 2 clinical study of the company's lead drug candidate CBP-307 in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); and the IND-enabling and Phase 1 studies of a second drug candidate CBP-201 for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and asthma.
In conjunction with the financing, Dr. William Hu, Managing Partner of Qiming, and Dr. Xiaoping Ye, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Tigermed, join Connect's Board of Directors.
"We are extremely grateful for the high level of interest and the support from such a distinguished group of healthcare investors led by Qiming. The closing of this oversubscribed round speaks to the significant scientific and business milestones the Connect team has delivered to date," said Dr. Wubin Pan, Co-founder, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Connect. "We are very excited to welcome William and Xiaoping to our Board and we look forward to working closely with both of them to guide Connect through the next phase of growth."
"This successful fundraising is a strong recognition of the value of our product pipeline and immune modulator discovery platform," added Dr. Zheng Wei, Co-founder and CEO of Connect. "T cell modulation is now proven to be a powerful means of treating inflammation and cancer. This new funding will allow us to accelerate the clinical development of CBP-307 and CBP-201, two potent T cell modulators targeting the most critical pathways that underlie autoimmune and allergic diseases."
Dr. William Hu of Qiming commented: "We find Connect an ideal investment opportunity because the company has built a strong immunology drug discovery platform and has shown an exceptional ability to execute its business strategy in a highly resource-efficient manner. The company's portfolio of immune modulators are uniquely positioned to address the large unmet and rapidly growing medical needs in China and globally. We are delighted to join this exciting team to bring these innovative products to patients."
CBP-307 is a novel, orally-active, second-generation S1P1 agonist with best-in-class potential for the treatment of a wide range of autoimmune diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis (MS). The drug molecule works by reducing the movement of T cells from lymph nodes into tissues to cause inflammation. Connect has successfully completed a Phase 1b study of CBP-307 in Australia in healthy volunteers, in which the drug demonstrated potent T cell modulation activity, ideal pharmacokinetics, and excellent tolerability. Planning for Phase 2 studies in patients with IBD and other diseases is currently underway.
CBP-201 is a novel monoclonal antibody for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, asthma and other types of allergic inflammation. The drug binds IL-4Rα, a protein found on Th2 type T cells that is required for the signaling of both IL-4 and IL-13, two cytokines known to play a central role in a wide variety of allergic inflammatory diseases. Preclinical studies showed that CBP-201 has highly differentiating properties including extremely high potency in blocking human T cell proliferation and inflammatory cytokine production, and excellent pharmacokinetics with a long half-life in preclinical species. A Phase 1 study is anticipated in the next 12 months.
About Connect Biopharmaceuticals
Founded in 2012, Connect Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd. is a clinical-stage company that discovers and develops novel immune modulators for the treatment of inflammation and cancer. Connect has several drug candidates in its pipeline, including CBP-307, CBP-201, CBP-174 (an in-licensed drug candidate with exclusive global rights) and several early-stage discovery programs. The company is headquartered in Taicang, Suzhou, and has operations in Melbourne and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.connectbiopharm.com
About Qiming Venture Partners
Founded in 2006, Qiming is a leading China venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Hong Kong. Qiming currently manages five US Dollar funds and four RMB funds with US$2.7 billion assets under management, and strives to be the investor of choice for top entrepreneurs in China. Qiming healthcare team has been one of most active investors in China and many of their healthcare portfolio companies are today's most influential brands in the healthcare sector. For more information, please visit www.qimingvc.com
About Northern Light Venture Capital
Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC) is a leading China-focused venture capital firm targeting early stage opportunities of innovation and disruptive technology. With over US$1.7 billion capital under management, Northern Light has backed over 180 ventures in TMT, healthcare and advanced technology since its inception in 2005. Leveraging significant investing and entrepreneurial expertise in both China and the United States, the NLVC team looks to support entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas and exceptional vision to develop lasting ventures that positively impact society. For more information, please visit: www.NLVC.com
About Lapam Capital
Headquartered in Beijing, Lapam Capital is a leading healthcare-focused venture capital firm in China, with over RMB 2 billion capital under management. Lapam Capital targets both early stage and fast growing opportunities, and has built a strong investment portfolio with innovative and disruptive healthcare technology. Lapam Capital has already invested in dozens of Chinese pharmaceutical companies, which together have generated nearly half of all Class I new small molecule drugs marketed by privately-held companies in China. Lapam Capital provides comprehensive value-added services tailored for healthcare portfolio. For more information, please visit: www.lapamcapital.com
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SOURCE Connect Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd.