Shanghai-based cell therapy biotech nabs new funds; Colorado biotech nets an acquisition
A Lilly Asia Ventures-backed cell therapy biotech has secured $50 million in Series A funds to bankroll CAR-NK therapies.
At the helm of the Shanghai-based Neukio Biotherapeutics is a leader with experience in the CAR-T cell therapy market, with Richard Liqun Wang having previously served as chief executive of the Fosun and Kite joint venture that landed the first CAR-T cell therapy approval in China last year. Kite and owner Gilead market the cell therapy product as Yescarta in the US.
Neukio raised the round with support from Lilly Asia Ventures, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and IDG Capital. The company previously snagged $40 million in what it characterized as an angel round in October 2021. The same investors took part in that financing.
The biotech, formed last year, is looking to make allogenic cell therapies “via the iPSC-CAR-NK axis,” according to its website. Neukio has 5,700 square meters of R&D and manufacturing space, the biotech says on its website.
With the Series A, Neukio said it will put candidates through preclinical and clinical studies, as well as use the proceeds to hire more employees.
“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,” Wang, the founder, CEO and chairman, said in a statement.
New investors include CD Capital, Alwin Capital and Surplus Capital. — Kyle LaHucik
Flagship Biosciences acquire a division from Interpace
A Colorado-based biotech is looking to snap up a division from Interpace Biosciences.
Flagship Biosciences, which provides biological and biomarker analytical services, has acquired Interpace Pharma Solutions, a division of Interpace Biosciences, for an undisclosed amount.
According to Flagship, the combined company will add to an arsenal of analytical and biomarker services as well as provide access to a research laboratory in North Carolina’s Research Triangle.
“By combining these organizations, we create a single-source provider offering a larger range of biomarker and analytics services while maintaining and expanding the proven expertise of each laboratory,” said Trevor Johnson, Flagship’s CEO in a statement.
The deal, according to Flagship, aims to use IPS’s capabilities to support clinical trials and diagnostic development in several areas including immuno-oncology, hematology and solid tumors, among others.
This acquisition also comes on the back of Flagship receiving an investment from Ampersand Capital Partners, BroadOak Capital Partners and Research Corporation Technologies. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. — Tyler Patchen