SHANGHAI, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- JW Therapeutics today announced the completion of a $90 million Series A financing, where a consortium led by leading global investors Temasek, Sequoia Capital China, and YuanMing Capital is joined by a lineup of other investors, including Oriza Seed Capital, Yipu Capital, AVICT Global Holdings, and existing investors WuXi AppTec Group, and Juno Therapeutics.
JW Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company founded by Juno Therapeutics and WuXi AppTec Group in 2016 to focus on leading cell-based therapy technologies.
By combining Juno's world-class technology and platform with WuXi AppTec Group's local expertise, R&D and manufacturing platform, and broader partnerships, JW Therapeutics has successfully initiated the development of its first CD19-directed investigational therapy, JWCAR029 (a CAR-T therapy being studied for the treatment of B-cell malignancies initially focusing on relapsed and refractory DCBCL). JWCAR029 has moved into clinical phase, and the IND has recently been accepted by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). JW Therapeutics has built a fully validated clinical GMP facility in line with global QMS standards, and established a strong team led by seasoned biotech/pharma leaders.
"The proceeds from this round of financing will be used to further advance our JWCAR029 clinical program, develop a therapeutic pipeline and build a new commercial manufacturing facility," stated James Li, co-founder and CEO of JW Therapeutics. "It will greatly accelerate the development and commercialization of JW Therapeutics' portfolio to meet the vast unmet medical needs and provide innovative treatment options to patients in China."
"I am very pleased that the company has attracted such a stellar group of investors to support its growth. JW's mission is to bring the most advanced therapies to patients in China," commented Dr. Ge Li, Chairman of JW Therapeutics, and Chairman of WuXi AppTec Group.
"Collectively we aim to help cancer patients around the world live longer and better lives," said Hans Bishop, CEO of Juno Therapeutics. "We believe CAR-T therapies have the potential to do this, and we are excited that this round of financing will help accelerate the development of these leading-edge therapies to benefit patients in China."
"Sequoia China has always followed technological innovation and development in the healthcare industry closely. CAR-T cell therapy is one of the major breakthroughs in biotech," said Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia China. "By supporting the growth of JW Therapeutics, a leading domestic player in this space, we hope to help even more patients regain their health and thus contribute to the further development of life sciences in China."
Dr. Lawrence Yuan Tian, Founding Partner of YuanMing Capital said, "YuanMing Capital invests in the leading biotech companies in China. We believe in JW Therapeutics' great potential in cell therapy, and look forward to supporting the growth of the company through the life sciences ecosystem that we are building."
Incorporated in 1974, Temasek is an investment company headquartered in Singapore. Supported by 11 offices globally, Temasek owns a S$275 billion portfolio as at 31 March 2017, mainly in Singapore and the rest of Asia.
Temasek's portfolio covers a broad spectrum of industries: financial services; telecommunications, media & technology; transportation & industrials; consumer & real estate; life sciences & agribusiness; as well as energy & resources. Temasek's investment activities are guided by four investment themes and the long term trends they represent: Transforming Economies; Growing Middle Income Populations; Deepening Comparative Advantages; and Emerging Champions.
As an institution, Temasek has a stake in the well-being of the larger community. Temasek recognises that environmental, social and governance factors can impact its stakeholders as well as the long term sustainability of companies and businesses.
About Sequoia China
The Sequoia team helps daring founders build legendary companies. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we've learned over 46 years working with Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Google, Alibaba, Airbnb and JD.com among many others. As "The Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs", Sequoia China focuses on four sectors: TMT, healthcare, consumer/service, and industrial technology. Over the past 13 years we've had the privilege of working with more than 500 companies in China.
About YuanMing Capital
YuanMing Capital (US Dollar Fund) is a healthcare specialty fund, focuses on the investment in pharmaceutial research and development, innovative medical devices and high-end medical services in both China and the United States. The team is composed of well-known entrepreneurs and biomedical experts who have a wealth of experience in pharmaceutical R&D, management, entrepreneurship, and a broad resource in healthcare and finance. The partners have founded the Sino-US Alliance for Healthcare Investment and R & D, Wuhan University Health Alliance, Chinese Entrepreneurs Forum, China-US Business Leaders Roundtable, and played an important role in China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association (PhIRDA), BayHelix, the Sino-American Pharmaceutical Association (SAPA), and the China Global Expert Recruitment program. YuanMing Capital focuses on creating life sciences ecosystem to provide strong enabling and value-added services to its portfolio companies.
About WuXi AppTec Group
WuXi AppTec Group is a leading global pharmaceutical, medical device open-access capability and technology platform company with global operations. As an innovation-driven and customer-focused company, WuXi AppTec Group provides a broad and integrated portfolio of services to help our worldwide customers and partners shorten the discovery and development time and lower the cost of drug and medical device R&D through cost-effective and efficient solutions. With its industry-leading capabilities in small molecule R&D and manufacturing, cell therapy and gene therapy R&D and manufacturing, and medical device testing, WuXi platform is enabling more than 3,000 innovative collaborators from more than 30 countries to bring innovative healthcare products to patients, and to fulfill WuXi AppTec Group's dream that "every drug can be made and every disease can be treated."
About Juno Therapeutics
Founded on the vision that the use of human cells as therapeutic entities will drive one of the next important phases in medicine, Juno Therapeutics brings innovative technologies from some of the world's leading research institutions, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Seattle Children's Research Institute (SCRI), the University of California, San Francisco, and The National Cancer Institute. Juno Therapeutics is building a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Juno Therapeutics is a Celgene company.