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Week in Review: Kumquat Signs $2 Billion US-China Deal with Lilly for Novel Immune Drugs
Deals and Financings
Kumquat Biosciences of San Diego announced a $2 billion agreement with a Lilly subsidiary to discover small molecule drugs that stimulate tumor-specific immune responses in cancer patients (see story). Lilly will make a $70 million upfront payment, consisting of cash and equity, and it will be responsible for $2 billion in milestones. After Kumquat completes the discovery phase, Lilly will have an option to select the assets it will develop for the
Sirnaomics, a Maryland-Suzhou RNAi therapeutics company, filed to raise $300 million in a Hong Kong IPO (see story). Sirnaomics has two siRNA therapeutics that target TGF-β1 and COX-2 for either local or systemic administration to treat cancers and fibrotic diseases. Both are in Phase II trials in the
MicroPort Cardiac Rhythm Management closed a $150 million Series C financing including $20 million from Hillhouse and $47 million from MicroPort® Scientific (HK: 00853), its parent (see story). MicroPort CRM makes implantable pacemaker and defibrillator devices to manage cardiac rhythm disorders. In 2017, MicroPort acquired the CRM business of
Bota Bio, a San Francisco-Hangzhou industrial synthetic biotech company, added $100 million to its Series B round (see story). Bota uses biological systems for clean and efficient bio-manufacturing of common household and industrial products. It points out current manufacturing methods cause environmental damage. Bota, whose pipeline includes consumer goods, food, nutrition and pharmaceutical products, wants to promote a sustainable biologic manufacturing processes. The financing was led by Sequoia Capital China.
Zion Pharma of Hong Kong raised $40 million in a Series B financing led by OrbiMed to advance its small molecule cancer drugs (see story). Founded in 2018,
Neukio Biotherapeutics, a
Guangzhou Lupeng Pharmaceutical completed a $35 million pre-B financing led by Temasek (see story). The company will use the funds for global clinical development of its lead drug, a selective Bcl-2 inhibitor, along with advancing at least four other candidates into clinical trials. Founded in 2018, Lupeng aims to develop global best-in-class therapies. The company develops novel small molecule drugs for cancer, hepatitis B and autoimmune diseases. Lupeng is approved to conduct clinical trials of its lead Bcl-2 inhibitor in
I-Mab (NSDQ: IMAB), a
Trials and Approvals
Shanghai Zai Lab (NSDQ: ZLAB; HKEX: 9688) and
Suzhou Innovent Bio (HK: 01801) started a China Phase I trial of an anti-PD-1/TIGIT bispecific antibody in advanced malignant tumors, especially GI cancers (see story). Innovent said preclinical studies of IBI321 showed it retains the activity of a PD-1 inhibitor while suppressing TIGIT to enhance anti-cancer efficacy. TIGIT is an immune checkpoint receptor that plays a role in tumor immune surveillance. IBI321 was discovered through a collaboration between Innovent and Eli Lilly, but is being developed in