Shanghai biotech tackling kidney disease gets another round of cash
Four months after a secretive Shanghai biotech pulled in $60 million for a Series B round, it’s returning to the fore with a little more cash.
Alebund Pharmaceuticals closed a $54.5 million round it’s describing as “Series B+,” the company announced Monday evening, aiming to further advance its kidney disease programs. Funds will go toward two clinical assets as well as the construction of a manufacturing site, Alebund said in a release.
“The B+ financing round once again shows global investors’ strong belief in Alebund’s capabilities to develop novel kidney disease drugs,” CEO Gavin Xia said in a statement. “We are very grateful to the new and existing investors who support us to maintain our leading position in renal therapy innovation and to provide global renal patients with safe and effective therapies soon.”
The new round was led by 3H Health Investment, Loyal Valley Capital and Morningside Ventures, followed by YuanBio Venture Capital, Octagon Capital, Verition Fund Management and HT Capital. Older investors including Lilly Asia Ventures, Quan Capital, 3E Bioventures Capital and Sherpa Healthcare Partners also participated.
Endpoints News has reached out to the company for comment.
Much like with the Series B announcement, few details emerged about the biotech in its announcement, but it boasted of being the first Chinese pharmaceutical company solely focusing on kidney disease. Both of Alebund’s two clinical programs are seeking to treat hyperphosphatemia among the broader chronic kidney disease population, with one in Phase II development.
That lead program is attempting to treat the disease with an old program originally developed by the small South Dakota-based biotech Vidasym, according to the clinicaltrials.gov registry. Per a 2016 paper in the British Journal of Pharmacology, the program is derived from acacia tree sap and designed to bind to phosphate in the blood with minimal side effects.
Jin Tian, who is a clinical consultant at Vidasym, is also co-founder and CMO of Alebund. Alebund hopes to launch a pivotal Phase III study next year.
The CKD field in China has not made as many advances in recent years as oncology, and Alebund is ostensibly working to fill that gap. FibroGen did score an approval for its anemia drug roxadustat in China back in 2018 and in the EU last month, but the FDA rejected the company’s pitch to sell it in the US just a month ago.
Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify Jin Tian’s role at Vidasym. He is a clinical consultant, not the leader of clinical studies.