Verseau Therapeutics that develops novel, first-in-class immunotherapies on Monday announced the completion of a $50-million new round of financing.
Hong Kong-listed biotech firm 3SBio, Shanghai-based investment company Highlight Capital, and Chinese private equity firm Yonghua Capital invested in the new round, according to a company statement.
Other investors include 20/20 HealthCare Partners, a global investment firm that backs early-stage technology and life science startups, Seoul-based new private equity firmInHarv Partners Ltd., Alexandria Venture Investments, a venture capital arm of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, and The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research.
George Golumbeski, Ph.D., former executive vice president of American biotech firm Celgene, was appointed as the chairman of the Verseau board of directors.
“Current immunotherapies can only provide clinical benefit in the ~25% of cancers that involve T-cell infiltration. By targeting macrophages, present in 75% of human tumours, we believe we can offer potential clinical benefits of immunotherapy to a large, underserved patient population. Macrophage modulation as monotherapy and in combination with other therapies could provide enhanced clinical benefit for patients,” said Christine Bunt, chief executive officer of Verseau.
Verseau develops novel, first-in-class immunotherapies that target modulation of macrophages, the master orchestrators of the immune system. Macrophages can adopt different functional roles in response to signals from their environment, including the ability to direct pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory immune responses.
The company plans to use the proceeds to support the advancement of Verseau’s macrophage checkpoint modulator (MCM) programmes to the clinic.
Verseau has a strategic collaboration with 3SBio, a Chinese biotech company with biopharmaceutical franchises. Under the agreement, 3SBio will receive an exclusive licence to develop and commercialise a select number of MCM antibodies for all human oncology indications in Greater China, including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Verseau retains all global rights.