(Shanghai, China) Neukio Biotherapeutics, a newly established company, recently announced the completion of its $40m Angel round of financing led by Lilly Asia Venture (LAV), with the participation of IDG Capital and Sherpa Investments. The fund will be used mainly for the establishment of a research facility and development of allogenic off-the-shelf immune cell technology platforms and therapies.
Allogenic cell therapy is among the most researched areas today and is on the verge of technology breakthrough. There are already assets in clinical trials globally. Neukio focuses on the development and commercialization of allogenic cell therapies from the iPSC-CAR-NK axis, through a combined approach of in-house innovation and external collaboration with world leading partners, for treating cancer patients worldwide.
Dr. Richard Wang, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Neukio has extensive expertise and R&D management experience in the biopharmaceutical field in the US and China, and served as founding CEO of Fosun Kite, a joint venture between Fosun Pharma and Kite Pharma prior to establishing Neukio. He led Fosun Kite completed CMC tech transfer of Yescarta, construction of GMP production facilities, registration clinical trials and NDA filing in less than three years, and made Yescarta the first marketing approved CAR-T product in China by the NMPA. Dr. Wang commented, “launch of Neukio from the Life Science Park of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, embarks our mission to make 0 to 1 innovation, and shows our confidence in allogenic off-the-shelf cell therapies. We really appreciate the funding support from well-known venture investors in the field, leading by Lilly Asia Venture with participation of IDG Capital and Sherpa Investments, who recognized our core team capabilities and supported our innovative approaches, and whom we share the same vision and commitment to saving patient lives.”
The founding managing partner of Lilly Asia Venture, Dr. Yi SHI commented that the clinical efficacy of cell therapy is exciting, and the development of universal product is an important way for cell therapy to truly move towards a wide range of clinical applications. We are very optimistic about the future of NK cells and believe that under the leadership of Dr. Wang, Neukio will be able to make a breakthrough contribution to the field of cell therapy for the benefit of patients in China and around the world.
IDG Capital investment director Mr. Haoyue HU emphasized that cell therapy will be an important weapon in human fight against cancers. With the deepening understanding of immuno-oncology, and advancement of gene editing technologies, different types of cell therapy will continue to expand the boundaries of cancer therapy. iPSC-CAR-NK is the latest development of cell therapy technology, which has potential for scale-up production as an allogeneic universal product, and has already shown preliminary evidence of clinical efficacy. We believe that under the leadership of Dr. Wang, Neukio will become a pioneer in this field, bringing more effective and accessible cell therapies to patients.
Sherpa Healthcare Partner Mr. Daqing CAI praised that Dr. Wang is a leader in China's biopharmaceutical sector. Under his strong leadership, Fosun Kite has achieved leading cell therapy position in China through solid milestone deliveries. Now Dr. Wang has started from scratch, choosing to embark on a new journey from 0 to 1 in the iPSC-CAR-NK field that offers both great opportunities and uncertainties. We Sherpas are honored to work with other famous investors to help Neukio pave the ways, build bridges and climb new peaks.