HONG KONG, Jan. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ascentage Pharma, a global, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on apoptosis-targeted oncology drug discovery and development, today announced the completion of its Series B financing of RMB 500 million (equal to approximately $72 million).
The financing was led by Future Industry Investment Fund ("FIIF"), a private equity fund managed by the State Development & Investment Corporation Fund Management Corporation Limited ("SDIC"), and was joined by new investors including Shiyu Capital, Hidragon Capital and Founder KIP Capital, along with the existing investors Yuanming Capital, Oriza Venture Fund and Efung Capital. China Renaissance acted as exclusive financial advisor for Ascentage.
On December 22, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Investigational New Drug (IND) approval to APG-1252, a novel Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor which is discovered and developed by Ascentage, for the treatment of cancers including Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC). APG-1252 is a small molecule drug that helps restore programmed cell death process (apoptosis) through selective inhibition of Bcl-2 family members Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Rationally designed to avoid the commonly seen on-target toxicity in platelets when Bcl-xL gets inhibited, APG-1252 is of best-in-class potential. The pre-clinical data shows that the compound remains strong anti-tumor potency while exhibiting minimal toxicity in platelets.
The proceeds of financing will provide strong support for Ascentage to further accelerate its pipeline of novel small molecules that target apoptosis pathways in clinical development. Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs) have long been known by their vital importance in regulating biological systems and development of disease states. Using small molecule drugs to directly disrupt PPIs is relatively rare in comparison to other drug classes due to the complexity and challenge in drug design. Ascentage team has been committed to this cutting-edge field for the past years with a vision of conquering the "undruggable" targets. The research efforts and valuable insight on these targets have been translated into a rich pipeline of eight novel small molecules with six currently in clinical development for addressing the unmet medical needs in oncology and hepatitis B. Furthermore, Ascentage is partnering with UNITY Biotechnology, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company creating therapeutics that prevent, halt, or reverse numerous diseases of aging, on developing ground-breaking senolytic treatments for age-related diseases. This collaboration will further enhance the therapeutic potential of Ascentage's compounds.
Simon Dazhong Lu, Managing Director of SDIC Fund Management, commented on the financing round: "We are highly attracted by Ascentage's unique technology platform and strong capabilities in novel drug development. We hope that Ascentage will soon deliver breakthrough therapeutics for patients worldwide."
Dajun Yang, MD, Ph.D., Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ascentage, said: "we are pleased by the overwhelming interest that we received in this round of financing led by SDIC. We believe that this is an endorsement of our PPIs-targeting technology, our novel apoptosis-inducing therapies, as well as our vision of building a world-leading biopharmaceutical company. The capital raised will be invaluable in enabling us to progress the clinical development of our pipeline especially in the United States and to accelerate our manufacturing site construction in Suzhou. We look forward to working closely with all our investors to continue the rapid advancement of developing novel drugs."
About Ascentage Pharma
Ascentage Pharma is a global, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, dedicated to discovery and development of "first-in-class" and "best-in-class" small-molecule targeted therapeutics for addressing unmet medical needs in cancers, hepatitis B and age-related diseases. Ascentage has world-leading proprietary Protein-Protein Interaction drug discovery technologies and holds over 80 international patents. Ascentage currently has six small molecule drugs in phase I-II trials in US, Australia and China and additional programs in preclinical stages.
The established R&D pipeline of Ascentage includes the inhibitors to a number of key proteins, including IAP, Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and MDM2-p53, that regulate a tumor cell's programmed cell death program; 2nd and/or 3rd generation of kinase inhibitors that overcome mutant resistance in cancer therapy; and inhibitors of epigenetics. For more information, please visit www.ascentagepharma.com.
Established in July 2009, SDIC Fund Management Corporation Limited is an independent, professional private equity company. It currently manages and advises more than RMB 50 billion of capital for a wide range of institutional investors including financial institutions, social security funds, and state-owned and private capital. SDIC Fund Management Corporation Limited is one of the largest professional private equity fund managers in China.
CONTACT: Dajun Yang, MD, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Ascentage, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Ascentage Pharma