TAICANG, SUZHOU, China, Jan. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Connect Biopharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage company that discovers and develops novel immune modulators for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and inflammation, today announces the completion of a $55 million Series B financing led by new investor Advantech Capital with participation by current investors Qiming Venture Partners, Northern Light Venture Capital, and Cowin Venture. CEC Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor for the financing.
The company plans to use the proceeds to fund the two ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials of its lead drug candidate CBP-307, a next-generation S1P1 agonist, in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The proceeds will also support a planned multiple ascending dose clinical trial of CBP-201, a highly potent IL-4Rα antibody, in patients with atopic dermatitis.
In conjunction with the financing, Ms. Jennifer Jin, Partner at Advantech Capital, will join Connect's Board of Directors.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome such a well-recognized healthcare investor who shares our long-term vision of delivering better and innovative medicines to people with serious chronic autoimmune diseases and inflammation, and we are very grateful to our current investors for their continued support," said Dr. Wubin Pan, Co-founder, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Connect. "We are delighted to welcome Jennifer to the Board and we look forward to working closely with her to guide and support the company as it enters an exciting new phase."
"The successful financing speaks to the significant progress the Connect team has made in advancing our product pipeline in the past two years," added Dr. Zheng Wei, Co-founder and CEO of Connect. "We are very pleased that CBP-307 and CBP-201, two drug candidates discovered internally, continue to rapidly progress in clinical development. CBP-307 has shown excellent tolerability, pharmacokinetic properties and biomarker activity in Phase 1 and is currently in Phase 2 trials in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. An interim safety review of the first-in-human CBP-201 clinical trial has shown an excellent safety and pharmacokinetic profile and supports progression into a multiple ascending dose study in patients with atopic dermatitis. This new funding will support the continuing development of these internally discovered drug candidates in patients with serious diseases and high unmet needs."
Jennifer Jin of Advantech Capital commented: "With a strong emphasis on the healthcare sector, Advantech invests in growth-stage companies that have the potential to become leaders in their respective fields of innovation. The Connect team has deep expertise in T cell immune modulation and has leveraged its core expertise to build a strong portfolio of drug candidates that are well-positioned to benefit patients in China and around the world. We are excited to be part of the team advancing these promising medicines."
About Connect Biopharmaceuticals
Founded in 2012, Connect Biopharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage company that discovers and develops novel immune modulators for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and inflammation. Leveraging on our expertise in the immunology of T cells, we have established a pipeline of proprietary, highly differentiated drug candidates for the treatment of serious diseases with high unmet needs. We are currently conducting two phase 2 clinical studies in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease with our lead drug candidate CBP-307. We are also concluding a phase 1 study of our second drug candidate CBP-201 in healthy subjects, with a phase 1b study in atopic dermatitis patients expected to commence in Q1, 2019. Additionally, we are advancing three preclinical candidates CBP-174, CBP-233, and CBP-322. The company is headquartered in Taicang, Suzhou, and has operations in Shanghai, Melbourne, and San Diego. For more information: www.connectbiopharm.com.
About Advantech Capital
Launched in January 2016 by Mr. Jianming Yu, Advantech Capital is a private equity fund focused on innovation-driven growth in China, on investments in Healthcare, TMT, and E-services sectors. For more information about Advantech Capital, please visit www.advantechcapital.com.
About Qiming Venture Partners
Founded in 2006, Qiming is a leading China venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Hong Kong. Qiming currently manages five US Dollar funds and four RMB funds with US $4 billion in assets under management and strives to be the investor of choice for top entrepreneurs in China. Qiming healthcare team has been one of most active investors in China and many of their healthcare portfolio companies are today's most influential brands in the healthcare sector. For more information: www.qimingvc.com.
About Cowin Venture
Cowin Venture focuses on early-stage investments in technology and healthcare companies in both China and the United States. Founded in 2009, Cowin has managed eight RMB funds and two USD funds with over RMB 5 billion assets under management. Cowin currently has more than 40 healthcare portfolio companies in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health sectors. Cowin aims to identify world-leading biotech and MedTech innovations with global intellectual properties and to leverage the vast clinical resources in China to speed up the R&D process and value-inflection of portfolio companies. For more information: www.cowinvc.com.
About Northern Light Venture Capital
Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC) is a leading China-focused venture capital firm targeting early stage opportunities in innovation and disruptive technology. Since founding by Feng Deng in 2005, Northern Light has backed over 250 ventures in TMT, healthcare and advanced technology. Leveraging significant investing and entrepreneurial expertise in both China and the United States, the NLVC team looks to support entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas and exceptional vision to develop lasting ventures that positively impact society. For more information: www.NLVC.com.
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