VMS Led Yizun Biotech Successfully Completed Series A Financing
We are pleased to announce that VMS has completed its Series A investment in Yizun Biotech (Zhejiang) Co. Ltd (“Yizun Biotech” or the “Company”). The series A funding round raised hundreds of millions of RMB and was co-led by VMS and Shenzhen Capital. Co-investors include Teda Venture Capital, Panacea Venture, Tao Capital and Tasly Capital. Tririver Capital acted as the sole financial advisor. The proceeds will mainly be used for talent acquisitions, R&D, clinical trials and registration for the CNK-UT pipeline products, as well as optimization of the core technology platforms and international cooperation.
Yizun Biotech is a cutting-edge cell therapy company with a number of world-leading original platform technologies, focusing on solid tumor and universal “off-the-shelf” technologies in cell therapy. It was co-founded by Dr. Liu Lingfeng, a prominent expert in the field of immunotherapy, and Mr. Guo Xiaobin, who has rich experience in investment and innovation incubation.
Since Yizun Biotech’s establishment in 2018, the Company has embraced “encoding cells, reshaping life” as its mission, aiming at satisfying unmet clinical needs, spearheading and fostering technological innovation, as well as driving continuous clinical breakthroughs, and it has introduced the developments and clinical validations of multiple technology platforms. In June 2019, the Company received a pre-A round of financing amounting tens of millions of RMB from Livzon Pharm, a listed pharmaceutical company. A strategic cooperation agreement was also signed.
Yizun Biotech has developed three core technology platforms for CNK-T, VAC-T and UT, and established significant initial efficacy of the CNK-UT platform in the treatment of clinical liver cancers in July 2020. At present, it owns a nearly 3,000 square meters of high-standard GMP production workshop and clinical transformation center, and has been selected as a key cultivation project in the “5050 Plan” of Hangzhou Binjiang High-tech Zone.
Dr. Lingfeng Liu, founder of the Company, has directly participated in the development and clinical research of CAR-T cell therapy during his work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the US. He obtained a number of international patents with some licensed to Juno Therapeutics, the first Nasdaq-listed US cell therapy company. The scientific advisory team of Yizun Biotech is made up of seasoned professionals from leading global scientific research institutions such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Harvard University, University of Washington and Northwest Blood Center in the US.
Yizun Biotech has established extensive pre-clinical and clinical cooperation with hospitals including Shanghai Oriental Liver and Gallbladder Hospital, Nanjing University-affiliated Wuxi People’s Hospital, Fudan University-affiliated Zhongshan Hospital, Fujian Medical University-affiliated Union Hospital, and Fuzhou General Hospital of Nanjing Military.
Mr. Andrew Ng, Managing Director & Head of Healthcare of VMS Group’s Private Equity Division, commented: “We are optimistic about the huge potential in cell therapy. Although cell therapy has achieved exciting clinical results in hematological tumors, there is still a need for breakthrough in the field of solid tumors. The universal “off-the-shelf” technologies of immune cell therapy is spearheading the innovative development of today, and it is necessary for cell therapy to achieve more extensive clinical applications. As a pioneer in the field of cell therapy, we believe that under the strong and powerful leadership of Dr. Lingfeng Liu, Yizun Biotech will make significant contributions to the revolutionary advancement of solid tumor and immune cell therapies, benefiting patients worldwide.”
VMS is committed to investing in companies that target to solve foremost medical problems and achieve groundbreaking innovations, as well as to helping accelerate the progress of scientific research in the medical and healthcare field globally. We are privileged to have supported and witnessed the growth of a series of healthcare portfolio companies, and we envision these companies to create greater values with their deep industry expertise and competitive products.
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