NiKang Therapeutics | May 31, 2021
NiKang Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing innovative small molecule oncology medicines to assist patients with unmet medical needs; today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $200 million Series C financing led by Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, and Octagon Capital Advisors with participation from a premier syndicate of funds, including new investors EcoR1 Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Wellington Management, Ally Bridge Group, Pavilion Capital, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, RA Capital Management, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Samsara BioCapital, PFM Health Sciences, Invus, Janus Henderson Investors and Logos Capital. All existing investors, including CBC Group, RTW Investments, LP, Lilly Asia Ventures, Matrix Partners China, and Casdin Capital, participated in the financing. About the funding, Bing Yao, Ph.D., former CEO and chairman of Viela Bio, and Ting Jia, Ph.D., founder and chief investment officer of Octagon Capital Advisors, will join NiKang’s Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to have such an outstanding group of investors as our shareholders,” said Zhenhai Gao, Ph.D., co-founder, president, and chief executive officer of NiKang. “Their support of our vision allows us to build the world’s leading precision oncology company. We are now well-positioned to rapidly advance our pipeline into the clinic, including our differentiated HIF-2 alpha inhibitor, and to bring our company to the next level of growth.”
“This financing is a testament to the quality of our science and team,” Kelsey Chen, Ph.D., MBA, chief financial officer, added. “Since joining NiKang, I have witnessed the passion and dedication of a group of talented scientists who are devoting their lives to advancing treatments for patients. We are grateful to be recognized by such a high-caliber group of investors.”
“NiKang has made remarkable progress over the last eight months since our initial investment,” said Ting Jia, Ph.D., a chief investment officer of Octagon. “We are impressed by the team’s accomplishment. We believe NiKang’s unique approach to attacking difficult-to-drug targets offers promising opportunities to develop breakthrough treatments for cancer patients. We are excited to co-lead the series C financing and partner with the NiKang team to accelerate its growth.”
“We are proud of what NiKang has achieved since its inception,” said Sean Cao, executive chairman of NiKang and managing director of CBC Group, which incubated the company. “The strength of this group of investors validates NiKang’s achievements and demonstrates their confidence in NiKang’s potential to grow into a leading innovative drug company.”
Proceeds will be used to advance the company’s lead drug candidates into the clinic, expand the pipeline, and fund internal drug discovery programs.
About NiKang Therapeutics
NiKang Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech company focused on discovering and developing innovative small molecule oncology medicines to assist patients with unmet medical needs. Our target selection is driven by deep insights into disease biology and molecular pathways. Our discovery approach is informed by target structure biology and capitalizes on structure-based drug design. The successful implementation of our strategy enables us to rapidly and efficiently discover and advance proprietary drug candidates with the most desirable pharmacological features into clinical studies. We strive to bring transformative medicines to patients in need.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Mission Bio | April 20, 2022
Mission Bio, Inc., a leader in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced today a co-marketing agreement with S2 Genomics, Inc., a leading developer of laboratory automation solutions for processing solid tissues for single-cell applications, to provide a single streamlined workflow for solid tumor applications from sample prep to analysis. Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), validated the automated nuclei workflow, which she presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting last week.
Single-cell DNA analysis has revolutionized cancer research, allowing researchers to gain high-resolution insights into tumor heterogeneity, leading to a slew of high-profile papers on disease causes. Solid tumor profiling, on the other hand, presents significant problems, as existing prep procedures sometimes fail to yield enough cells or nuclei to offer relevant data.
Mission Bio introduced their Tapestri Solution for Solid Tumor Research last month to address this issue, which includes new pre-designed research panels for breast cancer and glioblastoma multiforme, as well as an upgraded single-cell copy number variation (CNV) bioinformatic analysis tool. S2 Genomics' SingulatorTM 100 technology for automated dissociation of solid tissue into single-cell or nuclei suspensions can now be used in conjunction with Tapestri to achieve scalable, high-yield, efficient, and repeatable tissue processing.
We are eager to partner with leading companies to address key challenges to sample prep in solid tumor research, As Dr. Iacobuzio-Donahue's lab demonstrates, the Singulator 100 and Tapestri together are a powerful solution enabling single-cell DNA sequencing at scale, in pancreatic cancer research and across a variety of tissue types."
Yan Zhang, Ph.D., CEO of Mission Bio.
The Singulator 100 has been an important tool for enabling single-cell sequencing in solid tissue, but cancer researchers have been unable to directly interrogate DNA, Tapestri is the only commercial platform capable of single-cell DNA analysis, and we're excited to offer this single automated pipeline connecting cell and nuclei prep to Tapestri's microfluidics-based workflow."
John Bashkin, Chief Strategy Officer of S2 Genomics.
Yufan Biotechnologies | September 17, 2020
Exhaustion of T-cells is a key reason why CAR T-cell therapy may fail to control cancer. Recent work led by Xuebin Liao, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Science at Tsinghua University (Si et al., Cancer Cell 2020) shows that HPK1 (hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1) promotes T cell exhaustion via NFkB-Blimp1 activation and that blocking HPK1, either by gene knockout or by small-molecule inhibitors, is an attractive strategy to improve CAR T-cell immunotherapy. These innovative approaches are being evaluated clinically by Yufan Biotechnologies, co-founded by Professor Liao and Yan Zhang, CEO. Yufan Biotechnologies has now partnered with Abound Bio, Inc, a life sciences company with world-renowned expertise in finding antibodies to direct CAR T-cells against cancer targets. Abound Bio was co-founded by Dimiter Dimitrov, PhD, and John Mellors, MD, CEO. The three-year partnership covers the incorporation of antibodies to novel cancer targets into the enhanced, HPK1-inhibited CAR T-cell platform.