Morningside Ventures leads Series B funding in biotech firm Immune Regulation

Laboratory equipment. Photo: Pixabay

Immune Regulation Limited, a US and UK-based clinical-stage biotechnology company, announced on Monday that it has closed a Series B round of financing led by Boston-based Morningside Ventures, a part of Hong Kong’s Chan family-owned Morningside Group.

The Series B round saw the participation of existing shareholders including London-based 24Haymarket. The round is structured in two tranches and includes an option for Morningside to invest further capital at a step up to the initial two tranches, according to a statement.

In addition, Immune Regulation has raised £6 million ($7.8 million) of advance subscription funds from private investors led by Zurich and London-based Metellus AG which have been applied to the issue of shares. The total financing raised in the Series B round and the advance subscription funds amounted to £40.6 million ($53.4 million).

The new funding will accelerate Immune Regulation’s efforts to develop first-in-class drug product candidates that reset the immune system from a pro-inflammatory state to a balanced state, with the potential to achieve long-term disease remission in autoimmune and allergic diseases.

Founded in 2011, Immune Regulation is a clinical-stage biotech firm that develops new technologies for resetting the immune system, as well as novel, first-in-class therapies for inflammatory and immunological diseases.

The firm has two clinical-stage drug product candidates, ‘1805 and ‘1104, which have demonstrated “impressive efficacy and safety data” in phase 2a clinical studies on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Allergic Disease, respectively, said Jonathan Rigby, U.S.-based Group CEO of Immune Regulation, in the statement.

“This partnership with Morningside allows us to build our team in the US and the UK as we prepare for multiple phase 2 clinical studies for both of our lead assets. In addition, we are progressing towards a clinical evaluation of ‘1104 to treat COVID-19 related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS),” said Rigby.

“After extensive due diligence, Morningside concluded that Immune Regulation has drug products with significant potential to treat autoimmune and allergic diseases,” said Isaac Cheng, M.D. of Morningside Ventures. Cheng will join Immune Regulation’s Board of Directors as part of the deal.

Morningside Ventures is part of Morningside Group, which was founded in 1986 by the Chan family of Hong Kong to make private equity and venture capital investments. The Chan family controls Hang Lung Properties, one of the biggest and oldest property developers in Hong Kong.

Morningside Group, an early backer of Chinese smartphone Xiaomi, led a $26-million Series A round in Seattle-based digital health firm Prescryptive Health in late August.

In the same month, the firm invested in MicuRx Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held biopharmaceutical firm that develops next-generation antibiotics. The startup raised $25 million in its Series B round led by Shanghai-based private equity and growth capital investor BVCF.

It co-led a $28.5-million Series A round in US biotech firm Vesigen Therapeutics in July. Leaps by Bayer, a life sciences-focused investment unit of Germany-based Bayer AG, jointly led the round.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.