Chinese biopharma company Akeso raises $150m for antibody drug discovery

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Akeso, a Chinese biopharma company engaged in antibody drug discovery and development in oncology and immunology therapeutic areas, has raised nearly $150 million through a Series D funding round.

The investment in the clinical stage company was led by Loyal Valley Capital (LVC) and Sino Biopharmaceutical. The co-investors in the Series D round are healthcare specialists like Lake Bleu Capital, OrbiMed, and AIHC Capital, along with other investors such as Shenzhen Capital Group, and CDG International among others.

Akeso will use the proceeds towards the clinical trials of new drug programs and for the research and development of its drug pipelines. The funding will also help the Chinese biopharma company to continue to grow its global presence including new clinical trials in the US and for expanding its manufacturing capabilities.

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Dr. Xia Yu – CEO, President and founder of Akeso said: “We are very pleased to have received great recognitions from top investment institutions in biopharmaceutical industry. This round of financing has successfully drawn continuous supports from industry-renowned long-term investment funds, famous strategic investors, top-tier healthcare specialist funds widely recognised in the capital market, influential family office fund from Hong Kong and a multitude of existing shareholders.”

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Akeso, which was founded in 2012, develops mono- and bi-specific antibody drugs. The Chinese biopharma company is said to have developed more than 30 programs in oncology and immunology therapeutic areas, which include PD1/CTLA4, and PD1/VEGF.

Akeso had out-licensed AK107, a CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody drug candidate, to Merck in 2015. The Chinese pharma company also signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Sino Biopharmaceutical in June 2019 to co-develop and commercialize its internally developed program AK105 (PD-1).

Lin Lijun – managing partner of Loyal Valley Capital said: “With a vision to become a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, Akeso has developed a comprehensive, strong and highly efficient in-house drug discovery and development platform since its inception.

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“We are very impressed by its dedicated and highly experienced management team and the Company’s commitment of developing high quality, affordable, innovative antibody drugs for patients worldwide is very much in line with our investment philosophy. We look forward to sharing our experience and resources with Akeso and supporting the Company’s continuous growth.”

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