China biotech InxMed bags $19M Series A+ to develop PhI FAK inhibitor
Nearly a year after Nanjing, China-based InxMed bagged its first-ever IND approval, the company has raked in ¥130 million (about $19 million) in a Series A+ to develop its focal adhesion kinase (FAK) small molecule inhibitor program.
The financing round — led by Ennovation Ventures and China Growth Capital and joined by InnoMed Capital and Grand Yangtze Capital — will allow the company to push its lead drug, IN10018, through the clinic for multiple cancer indications. The company said it previously raised “tens of millions” in US dollars in Series A financing.
“The successful completion of A+ round financing would allow us to advance our clinical program and strengthen the company’s R&D capability and capacity,” InxMed chairman and CEO Zaiqi Wang said in a statement.
IN10018 is currently in Phase I testing for uveal melanoma and NRAS mutant metastatic melanoma; ovarian and gastric cancer; and pancreatic cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. The company is focused on combination therapies, and in June read out early research data that showed IN10018 can overcome drug resistance in cancer patients when administered with KRAS G12C inhibitors.
In March, InxMed dosed the first patients in a Phase Ib trial studying IN10018 both as monotherapy and in combination with Roche’s MEK inhibitor cobimetinib, in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma or NRAS mutant metastatic melanoma. That trial will include 6 US sites and 3 in Australia.
Currently, no standard-of-care treatment exists for metastasized uveal melanoma. And chemotherapies or liver-directed treatments don’t keep tumors under control long-term. The biotech believes that FAK inhibitors could overcome the fibrotic barrier and immune tolerance, boosting targeted therapy, chemotherapy, immuno-therapy and radiation therapy.
InxMed also got the OK from the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in December to launch Phase I testing of IN10018 in patients with locally advanced or metastatic gastric cancer.
“We believe IN10018 has broad potential for the treatment of cancer patients and are very excited to receive approval from NMPA to initiate clinical trials of IN10018 in China. This is another important milestone for InxMed, demonstrating our ability to conduct clinical trials in both the U.S. and China and leverage advantages of both countries to create global value,” Wang announced in December.