Neukio Biotherapeutics Completed Series A-1 Financing, to Accelerate Discovery and Development of Next Generation Cell Therapy Products
Neukio Biotherapeutics, a company committed to developing novel cell therapy products, announces it has closed $50 million in a Series A-1 funding round. The investment round was led by CD Capital, with the participation of Alwin Capital and Surplus Capital as new investors. Existing shareholders Lilly Asia Ventures, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and IDG Capital have continued to support the company with additional funding. G&G Capital served as the exclusive financial adviser. The funds raised will play important roles in accelerating the preclinical and clinical validation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapy products, and supporting team recruitment and expansion.
Neukio, founded at the Simbay Park in Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (China) in June 2021, is an innovative biotherapeutic company focusing on the development and commercialization of next generation immune cell therapy. Leveraging its significant experience in the R&D, CMC and commercialization of autologous CAR-T cell therapy, Neukio’s management team has established an iPSC-CAR-NK-based pipeline development strategy, aiming to launch allogenic off-the-shelf cell therapy products that can be produced in scale for treating solid tumors. The company focuses on both in-house R&D innovation and global collaboration with leading partners, to provide valuable clinical solutions for cancer patients worldwide. Since its establishment just over one year ago, the company has made remarkable progress in talent recruitment, facility construction, R&D pipeline advancement and quality management system establishment, exceeding all expectations.
Dr. Richard Liqun Wang, founder, chairman and CEO of Neukio and former founding CEO of Fosun Kite Biotechnology Co., Ltd., has successfully brought China’s first CAR-T cell therapy product Yescarca (Axicabtagene Ciloleucel) to the market in less than four years, laid foundation for the cell therapy industry in China. To address the challenges in manufacturing, clinical application, and patient access of autologous cell therapy, Dr. Wang and the Neukio team are aiming high to create novel cell therapies for the benefit of cancer patients by exploiting the clonality and unlimited replication capability of iPSCs in conjunction with cutting-edge gene editing technologies.
Dr. Wang commented: “In as little as 10 months since the operation of our new laboratories, not only have we completed several signaling pathway modifications and CAR designs tailored for solid tumors, but also we have made significant progress in the development of innovative manufacturing processes of NK differentiation and expansion. In today’s challenging environment of capital market, we are honored to have received recognition from CD Capital, Alwin Capita, Surplus Capital, and previous investors of Sherpa Healthcare Partners, Lilly Asia Ventures and IDG Capital on our R&D strategy, development capabilities and project progress. I am very grateful to all investors and to G&G Capital and Silkroad Law Firm for their support in this round of financing, and we will reward them with rapidly moving forward in the preclinical and clinical validation of our R&D platform and products. The field of cell therapy is rapidly advancing with a promising future and a huge market potential, and iPSC-CAR-NK therapy has the potential to become one of the brightest stars of next generation cell therapy.”
“The transition from traditional small molecules and antibodies to the era of cell therapy is a great leap in drug design and manufacturing capabilities of human being,” said CD Capital, the leading investor in this round of financing. “With the commercialization of autologous CAR-T cell products, more and more improvement opportunities have emerged and need to be taken urgently. In the field of cell therapy, CD Capital continues to focus on innovations and breakthroughs in allogenic products to conquer solid tumors. Neukio has been deeply committed to iPSC-CAR-NK cell therapy. Within a short time of its establishment, Neukio has built up global leading technology platforms efficiently in both scientific innovation and process development, demonstrating its strong execution capability and efficiency. We hope that the company, under the leadership of Dr. Wang, will adhere to pragmatism, efficiency, and innovation, leading the advancement of the industry, and bringing a new generation of allogenic cell therapy products to the clinical application as soon as possible for the benefit of patients.”