Akeso, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “Akeso”) announced the completion of its Series-D private financing for nearly US$150 million, which was co-led in investment by Loyal Valley Capital (“LVC”) and Sino Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (“Sino Biopharm”), participated and invested by famed investment institutions including Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd (“SCGC”), Lake Bleu Capital (Hong Kong) Limited (“Lake Bleu Capital”), CDG International Company limited, AIHC master fund, OrbiMed, K. Wah Group, CCB Capital Management and Apricot Capital.
Dr. Xia Yu, CEO, President and founder of Akeso said, “We are very honoured to have received recognition and support from top investment institutions in biopharmaceutical industries both domestically and internationally. This round of financing has successfully drawn continuous support from industry-renowned long-term investment funds, famous strategic investors, top tier healthcare funds widely recognised in the capital market, influential family funds from Hong Kong and a multitude of existing shareholders. After this round of financing is completed, to further develop and expand the Company, we will accelerate the R&D of innovative drugs pipelines and the clinical trials of new drug programs, attract and nurture talent, and further quicken the entry of high-quality, innovative medicines into the market through self-R&D and external collaborations.”
With a vision of developing premium, affordable, high quality antibody drugs for global patients, Akeso strives to self-develop new-generation world-leading novel antibody drugs. Since its establishment in 2012, the company has developed a product portfolio consisting of over 30 drugs being researched in the anti-tumour and self-immunological fields. The unique Tetrabody bi-functional antibody development technology developed by the company has become one of the few double-resistance platforms with production and clinical verification. The company has also developed through Tetrabody technology a series of bi-functional antibody drugs based on PD-1. Among the medicines, AK104 and AK112 are the world’s first, new anti-PD-1/CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1/VEGF bi-functional antibody drugs entering clinical trials and candidates for the China’s top 10 biotechnologies with progress for 2017. Akeso Biopharma’s PD-1 bi-functional antibody drugs represented by AK104 and AK112 are expected to become new-generation anti-tumour immunotherapy more effective than PD-1 antibody medicine.
Ms. Iris Wang, Managing Director at OrbiMed commented, “OrbiMed seeks to invest in biopharmaceutical companies pursuing high-potential new drugs for important diseases with unmet needs. Akeso has developed a broad and innovative portfolio in both oncology and immunology therapeutic areas, and is showing promising results in clinical trials. We are excited to participate in this Series D financing to support Akeso’s next phase of growth.”
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“We feel very honoured to be able to continue supporting Akeso. LVC concentrates on supporting entrepreneurs pursuing excellence and creating a world-class superb business through long-term and persistent efforts. As a pharmaceutical R&D company with strong, independent R&D capabilities for innovative medicines, Akeso has steadily built a top-rated R&D platform for new drugs since its early days, has a highly focused, dedicated and brilliant team of management and is committed to developing premium, affordable, new-generation antibody medicines for patients the world over, very much in line with our investment philosophy. In the coming few years, we look forward to sharing our experience and resources with Akeso Biopharma and supporting the company in becoming the world’s leading innovative, pharmaceutical R&D firm,” said Loyal Valley Capital’s managing partner Lin Lijun.
Tse Hsin, vice president of Sino Biopharm, said: “After our subsidiary Chia Tai‑Tianqing Pharmaceutical and Akeso Biopharma reached a cooperation agreement in June, this is our yet another deep collaboration with the company, and Sino Biopharm’s first pre-IPO where it leads in investment as one of the innovative, domestic biopharmaceutical players. Sino Biopharm strives to develop drugs with outstanding clinical value, particularly innovative medicines. This time, our investment in Akeso Biopharma is in line with our overall innovative strategies, and we are optimistic and supportive of the company’s development. Our once-again cooperation symbolises that we are going deep in interactively building our pharmaceutical ecosystems, which is expected to benefit more patients in China and beyond.”
“We are very glad to be able to help Akeso achieve their goal of developing high-quality and effective antibody drugs. Over the last year, we, as long-time shareholders, were very happy to see the Company make fast progress in the R&D, clinical trials and commercialisation cooperation on various drugs. The progress has proved the company’s strong capabilities for implementation, innovative and business expansion. We look forward to offering the company long-term support for strengthening product development and creating greater commercial value,” Dr Li Bin, founder of Lake Bleu Capital, said.
Li Hongxing, managing Director CDG International said, “China’s innovative medicine industry, especially the market for innovative anti-tumour biomedicines and immunotherapy, has huge growth potential. Having world-leading R&D innovation capability, Akeso Biopharma is a leader in innovative biopharmaceutical R&D. The corporate team represented by Dr Xia Yu has accumulated a great deal of R&D experience in antibody drugs, especially bispecific antibody candidates, and formed a rich portfolio of antibody medicines through the self-built pharmaceutical R&D platforms, taking absolute lead in our country’s antibody drug arena. Akeso Biopharma possesses industry-wide R&D capabilities and built cGMP production lines meeting NMPA, EMA and FDA standards ages ago. This time, the investment will help the company achieve biopharmaceutical breakthroughs and industrialisation of its R&D results, which is in line with CDG International’s strategies.”