China’s 3SBio, Highlight Capital, Yonghua back $50m Verseau Therapeutics round

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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.

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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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.