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Harbour BioMed Closes $103 Million Financing for Biologic Portfolio
Harbour BioMed (HBM) closed a $103 million Series C financing to develop its portfolio of cancer, immunologic disease and COVID-19 biologics. Founded in 2016, HBM is headquartered in Boston, with discovery operations in Rotterdam and R&D in Suzhou. In 2018, the company completed an $85 million B round, followed by a $75 million B+ raise earlier this year. The company has five biologic candidates in clinical trials and three COVID-19 projects in discovery.
HBM's latest financing was led by Hudson Bay Capital, and included OrbiMed, Country Garden VC, GTJA Investment Group, Octagon Capital and Sage Partners. All of these were new investors. Existing investor Greater Bay Area Investment Fund also contributed.
HBM was formed with an initial $50 million in capital, and it immediately acquired Harbour Antibodies BV, a Dutch company with two proprietary transgenic mouse platforms, though Harbour also actively in-licenses drug development projects.
In 2020, HBM began building a COVID-19 pipeline. It teamed up with Utrecht University. Utrect's Erasmus Medical Center and AbbVie to develop a monoclonal antibody, 47D11, for therapeutic/prophylactic use against SARS-CoV2. The mAb targets a conserved region of the virus’ spike protein, and has been shown in studies published in Nature Communications to block infection by SARS-CoV-2. The participants believe the molecule may have potential to fight future coronaviruses as well.
In addition, HBM is testing mAbs for diagnostic purposes in COVID-19, and it has an ongoing collaboration with Mt. Sinai Health System (New York) to discover antibodies targeting SARS-CoV2 using its proprietary H2L2 Harbour Mice® platform.
The company has 30 programs in development. In a release, it included descriptions of three of its five products that have started clinical trials:
• HBM9161 (Batoclimab) is a first-in-class fully human anti-FcRn mAb, that significantly reduces pathogenic IgG, with potential to become a portfolio-in-a-product for a variety of autoimmune indications. Following China IND approval, HBM is conducting clinical trials in myasthenia gravis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, immune thrombocytopenia and Graves‘ ophthalmopathy.
• HBM9036 (Tanfanercept) is a novel TNF receptor-1 fragment to treat dry eye disease by inhibiting TNFα. Phase II clinical trials with the drug in the US and China have shown promising signals of both clinical efficacy and safety in treating moderate-to-severe dry eye disease. Preparations for the Phase III registration trial in China are currently underway.
• HBM4003 is a next-generation anti-CTLA4 mAb in Phase I clinical studies in Australia for the treatment of advanced solid tumors. The molecule is the first of several fully human mAbs in development at HBM based on its heavy chain only (HCAb) technology. HBM4003 has shown promising anti-tumor activity and a favorable safety profile in preclinical studies, suggesting it has potential in both mono- as well as combination therapy with other immuno-oncology drugs.
“The participation of new and current investors underscores enthusiasm for our clinical portfolio, our antibody discovery and development engine, as well as our strategy to build a leading global biopharmaceutical company,” said Dr. Jingsong Wang, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Harbour BioMed. “We have made great progress with our clinical programs and multiple promising, bi- and monospecific antibodies from our discovery engine that are rapidly moving towards clinical trials. The funding will support final development and initial commercialization of our late stage portfolio and advancement of both our earlier stage discovery and preclinical molecules.”
Ms. Jo-Wen Lin, Asian Healthcare Portfolio Manager at Hudson Bay Capital, said: "We are pleased to support Harbour BioMed and its management team to further develop its pipeline of leading immunology and oncology drugs. We believe the Company’s innovative approach, with next generation technologies that target unmet medical needs, presents an exciting growth opportunity."
Ms. Iris Wang, Managing Director of OrbiMed Asia, commented, "Harbour BioMed has built an impressive clinical pipeline and at the same time created a solid foundation for next generation therapeutics through its transgenic mouse platforms. These preclinical programs along with the Company’s clinical assets create new opportunities targeting major indications with substantial global medical needs."
HBM's internal discovery programs are centered around its two patented transgenic mouse platforms (Harbour Mice®) for generating fully human monoclonal antibodies: heavy chain only antibodies (HCAb), and H2L2 for conventional antibodies. It integrates several next generation technologies including Harbour Mice®, HBICE™ immune engager, and the Beacon® Optofluidic System to accelerate discovery of novel molecules. Harbour BioMed also licenses i platforms to companies and academic institutions.
See our other articles on Harbour BioMed.