Additional Capital Enables Advancement of Novel, Internally-Discovered Neuroscience Programs in Clinical Development
Company Builds its Development and Commercial Organization to Expand its Global Business Operations
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and WUHAN, China, Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- XWPharma (formerly XW Laboratories), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutics that apply novel platform chemistry to time-regulated neurobiology, today announced it completed a $40 million Series C financing. The financing was led by Panacea Venture, with participation from existing investors, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., WI Harper Group, WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund and KTB Network, and new investors, CDIB Yida Healthcare Fund, Hontai Capital and Trinity Fund.
XWPharma expects to use proceeds from the financing to advance clinical development of the company’s lead investigational programs: XW10172, a GABAB receptor agonist intended for the treatment of sleep disorders in narcolepsy, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases; and XW10508, a glutamatergic NMDA antagonist and AMPA activator, designed for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder and patients suffering from chronic pain.
“The XWPharma team brings together decades of drug discovery, development and commercialization expertise with a notable track record of success,” said James Huang, Founder & Managing Partner of Panacea Venture. “The company’s neuroscience pipeline includes highly promising, original chemical compounds targeting validated biology that de-risks each program at an early stage of development.”
The company also announced the appointment of industry veteran Leonard Blum as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Blum succeeds Jia-Ning Xiang, Ph.D., who is the company Founder and Chairman. Dr. Xiang will assume the role of Chief Scientific Officer.
“Leonard has extensive experience in successfully developing and commercializing best-in-class therapeutics to achieve market leadership and in leading global biopharmaceutical organizations,” said Dr. Xiang. “We are thrilled to have him join us as we expand our company footprint in the U.S. and plan to rapidly advance our transformative therapeutics through development, registration and launch.”
“XWPharma has built a highly productive drug discovery platform, capitalizing on its extensive experience with proprietary techniques to improve pharmacology,” said Mr. Blum. “The company’s current pipeline is evidence of the capability the company has to generate multiple exciting new investigational drugs to deliver against the pressing needs of patients with severely debilitating neurological disorders.”
Mr. Blum joins the company following a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years of international biopharmaceutical experience, including as Chief Commercial Officer at Omeros Corporation, Theravance, Inc. and ICOS Corporation (acquired by Eli Lilly). Previously, he served in roles of increasing responsibility at Merck & Co., Inc. In these roles, Mr. Blum designed and built commercial organizations in the U.S. and abroad, had national and global responsibilities in the development, regulatory approval, partnering, sales and marketing of over 20 pharmaceutical brands, and led multiple blockbuster drug launches across a broad array of therapeutic categories. In particular, his work on the launch and life cycle planning and development of CIALIS® is the subject of two Harvard Business School case studies. Mr. Blum received his A.B. from Princeton University magna cum laude and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Zurich. Prior to joining the pharma industry, Mr. Blum served as an officer in the U.S. Army Special Forces and was designated the Honor Graduate (first ranking) of the Special Operations Detachment Officer Course 6-86.
About Panacea Venture
Panacea Venture is a science-focused venture capital firm focusing on investing in and incubating early stage life science companies with disruptive and breakthrough technologies and discoveries that can potentially address huge unmet medical needs and enhance quality of life.
XWPharma (formerly XW Laboratories) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutics that apply novel platform chemistry to time-regulated neurobiology. XWPharma's expertise in drug design is focused on providing potential first- and best-in-class medicines with differentiated features to address the unmet medical needs of patients suffering from debilitating neurological diseases. XW10172 is a clinical-stage, GABAB agonist in development as an investigational once-nightly therapy intended to regulate the patient’s sleep cycle in order to alleviate excessive daytime sleepiness and other consequences of sleep dysfunction associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, and narcolepsy. XW10508 is a glutamatergic NMDA antagonist and AMPA activator in development as an oral, once-daily therapy with potential abuse deterrent properties designed for the treatment of major depressive disorder and chronic pain.
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