Established in June 2021 at the Life Science Park of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Neukio focuses on development of next generation allogenic cell therapies via the iPSC-CAR-NK axis, through internal discovery and external collaboration, with emphasis on innovative immuno-oncology products.
The management team has rich cell therapy experience, CEO and other key managers have led the Fosun Kite JV from the start and successfully launched the first CAR-T product Yescarta® commercialization in China (tech transfer, manufacturing, clinical trials and regulatory approval) in less than three years.
Supported by renowned VC investors including Lilly Asia Ventures, IDG Capital and Sherpa Capital, with a $40M angel round funding in August 2021. Since September 2022 to now，Neukio has closed $58 million in a Series A funding round that was led by CD Capital, with the participation of Alwin Capital, Surplus Capital, Alihealth and Panlin Capital as new investors. Existing shareholders Lilly Asia Ventures, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and IDG Capital have continued to support the company with additional funding. G&G Capital served as the exclusive financial adviser.
Building upon successful experience in commercialization of autologous CAR-T cell therapy products and the last cutting-edge technologies, Neukio’s core team has designed a novel allogeneic immune cell therapy technology and process platform and to address the limitations of autologous cell therapy. The innovation mainly focuses on two aspects: 1) Leveraging the advantages of gene editing technologies to modify unique signaling pathways and/or to engineer transgenes, we can create novel functions and reconstitute immune-response of iPSC-NK to overcome the challenges in treating solid tumors beyond cancer target selection. In addition, knocking-in and expressing target-specific CAR molecules will enhance target dependent cytotoxicity, and NK activation, leading to better clinical efficacy in specific indications. 2) Developing GMP-compliant bioreactor-based 3D suspension process for iPSC differentiation to NK cell and further expansion under perfusion conditions will ensure manufacturing highly pure and homogenic CAR-NK products in scale. Demonstration of clinical safety and efficacy of the engineered products will fulfill the unmet medical needs in solid tumor treatment, and bring hope of cure to patients world-wide.
Our Competitive Advantages
l Strong cell therapy expertise (CAR-T, CMC, regulatory)
l Unequivocal innovative pipeline strategy with global reach
l Parallel approach of internal R&D & external collaborations
l Highly effective team with strong execution record
l Supported by renowned investors with shared vision
January: Established GMP compliant 3-tier banking (PCB/MCB/WCB) for the first product
February: Established GMP compliant 3-tier banking for the second product
March: Achieved validation of the second gene-editing
January: Collaboration with Biocytogen to screen antibody for nominated targets for construct next generation of CAR cellular immunotherapy products
February: Collaboration with EdiGene Inc. to explore novel therapeutic mechanisms and potential targets to be edited
July: Achieved the first gene editing and functional validation
July: Completed small scale manufacturing process
September-December: Completed $55M Series A financing
November: Collaboration with ExCell to develop customized serum-free medium for NK cells and other iPSC derived products
June: Founded in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone
July: Completed $40M angel round financing
September: Discovery laboratory center construction completed
December: GMP manufacturing facility construction completed
Let Cell Therapies Eradicate Cancer Cells
Focus on Innovative Technology and Therapy Development
Uphold High Quality Standards and Industry Leadership
Honesty and Integrity
Responsibility and Accountability
Respect and Collaboration
Result and Excellence
Richard Liqun Wang Ph. D., MBA.
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Neukio Biotherapeutics
Former positions held：
VP & CTO, Fosun Pharma, and founding CEO, Fosun Kite Biotech
COO, Cellular Biomedical Group (CBMG)
Head of Operations, GSK R&D Center in China
Director of Alliance, Externalization and Portfolio Management, AstraZeneca Innovation Center China
Associate Director, Discovery Portfolio and Project Management, Bristol-Myers Squibb USA
Group Leader & Principal Scientist, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, USA
Richard received B.S degree in Cell Biology from the University of Science & Technology of China, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He obtained postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health, USA. In the last 8 years, he has been working on cell therapy research and product development. While in Fosun Kite, he led the effort of completing tech transfer, registration trial and market authorization application for Yescarta in China (the first CAR-T product) in less than three years, and building commercial strategy and teams for the launch
The core management team has rich experience in R&D, production and manufacturing of cell therapies.
40% previously worked in the management team of Fosun-Kite, and led Fosun-Kite to complete the technology transfer, facility construction, clinical trials, drug regulatory review and successful approval of Yescarta for commercialization in China.
Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Postdoctoral Fellow, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Switzerland
Bachelor in Medicine, Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University
VP, Clinical Development
Master in Hematology from Norman Bethune University of Medical Science, Ph.D. in Internal Medicine, Jilin University
VP, BD & Strategy
Ph.D. in Physiology from Jilin University and Universität Hamburg, Germany; EMBA from Fudan University/University of Washington, USA; Postdoctoral Fellow from HHMI, USA
Head of Quality
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, East China University of Science and Technology