China and Hong Kong based Qiming Venture Partners has led a $20 million series A round in Connect Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, a company developing immune modulators for treating conditions like autoimmune diseases and cancer, according to the company announcement on January 25.
The financing round was joined by Northern Light Venture Capital, a China focused early-stage and growth stage investment firm, Lapam Capital, a Beijing-based healthcare-focused venture capital firm and existing investor, Cowin Venture Capital that focuses in high technology enterprises.
Founded in 2012, Connect Biopharma is a clinical-stage company to identify and advance drugs though in-house discover and in-licensing.
The investment will be used to support the upcoming Phase 2 clinical study of the company’s lead drug candidate CBP-307 in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Phase 1 studies of a second drug candidate CBP-201 for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and asthma will also be done with the current funding support.
“This new funding will allow us to accelerate the clinical development of CBP-307 and CBP-201, two potent T cell modulators targeting the most critical pathways that underlie autoimmune and allergic diseases,” said Dr. Zheng Wei, co-founder and CEO of Connect.
Dr William Hu, managing partner of Qiming said Connect has built a strong immunology drug discovery platform.
“The company’s portfolio of immune modulators are uniquely positioned to address the large unmet and rapidly growing medical needs in China and globally. We are delighted to join this exciting team to bring these innovative products to patients,” said Hu.
Qiming has been a leading Chinese venture capital firm currently managing five US Dollar funds and four RMB funds. It has $2.7billion assets under management and is the first investment in Connect.
Connect’s product, CBP-307 will be helpful for a range of autoimmune diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis. CBP-201 will be used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, asthma and other types of allergic inflammation.