Week In Review: CANbridge Closes $43 Million E Round For Rare Disease Drugs

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Deals and Financings

  • CANbridge Pharma completed a $43 million Series E financing that is a follow-on to its $98 million Series D round that was announced in February (see story). CANbridge is a Beijing company focused on rare diseases. The company said it would use the proceeds to expand its rare disease pipeline through internal development and external partnerships, advance clinical development of pre-clinical stage assets, and launch Hunterase®, a treatment for Hunter syndrome. The E round was led by 3W Fund Management and included new investors Casdin Capital, Summer Capital, SPDBI, and Yaly Capital.  
  • Shenzhen Xbiome, which uses AI to develop microbiome products, raised "tens of million dollars" in a Series B+ round to support development of its gut bacteria therapies (see story). The company is ready to start tests in 2021 of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) capsules that treat graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). The programs have already started China investigator-initiated trials. The B+ round was led by Primavera Capital and Gaorong Capital, with existing investors Legend Capital and 5Y (formerly Morningside Venture) participating.  
  • Suzhou's Ascentage Pharma (HK: 6855) acquired global rights to a MDM2 protein degrader developed at the University of Michigan (see story). Ascentage will have exclusive rights to the Proteolysis-Targeting Chimeras (PROTACs) technology that uses the ubiquitin-proteasome system to induce degradation of targeted proteins. Previous MDM2 inhibitors block MDM2-p53 interactions and restore the tumor-suppressing activity of p53, but they have drawbacks, including dose-limiting toxicities.
  • Chengdu's HitGen (SHA: 688222) announced its discovery collaboration with US-based Cedilla Therapeutics successfully identified small molecule candidates for cancer and other diseases caused by protein dysregulation (see story). HitGen applied its large-scale target libraries to discover compounds that met Cedilla's specified criteria. Cedilla received an exclusive license to these compounds plus IP for further development and commercialization. HitGen will be eligible for future milestone payments and sublicensing income from Cedilla, in addition to research payments and an upfront license fee.  
  • Infervision, a Beijing company that develops AI-based imaging readers, completed a D1 financing round of undisclosed size (see story). Founded in 2014, Infervision has launched eight programs that are fully integrated with medical workflows to aid the reading of scans. Its products are available in more than 10 countries in Asia, Europe, and North America. The D1 round was led by Zhongguancun M&A Fund of Funds, with participation from Zhongguancun Science City, Shenzhen Yicun Tongsheng, Shanghai Lianyi and previous shareholders.  
  • Tolo Biotech, a Shanghai company developing CRISPR diagnostics, announced a cross-licensing agreement with fellow CRISPR diagnostic company Sherlock Biosciences of Cambridge, MA (see story). Tolo will have exclusive rights to Sherlock's CRISPR-Cas13 SHERLOCK™ diagnostic platform in Greater China, while Sherlock will have exclusive US rights to Tolo's CRISPR-Cas12 diagnostic technology. In May, Sherlock received Emergency Use approval in the US for its Sherlock™ CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit, the first FDA-authorized use of CRISPR technology.  
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