NANJING, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IASO Biotherapeutics (IASO BIO) today announced the completion of $60 million in series B financing led by GL Ventures, which is a venture capital fund of Hillhouse Capital focusing on early-stage innovative companies. Biomedicine and medical devices are its key investment areas. This new funding will go toward expanding the company’s product pipeline, promoting the progress of current projects (including regulatory applications and clinical trials in China and the United States), improving the technology of a fully-human antibody development platform, expanding cooperation with leading international research and development institutions, and accelerating the construction of commercial facilities.
IASO BIO is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to the development of innovative cell therapies for cancer. Founded in March 2017, the company is developing over 10 pipeline products, focusing on autologous and universal CAR-T products for hematological tumors. All products are based on fully-human sequence. Additional development efforts include unique TCR-like CAR-T cell therapy products for solid tumor indications such as viral infection related gastric cancer and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
IASO BIO owns a proprietary phage display library（>2x1011）that supports the demand for fully-human antibodies required for CAR-T and lays the foundation for the development of antibody drug pipelines as well. Its in-house plasmid, lentivirus and CAR-T production technology platforms can meet the requirements of IND submissions and clinical research for multiple products.
In September 2019, IASO BIO received NMPA approval of a phase Ib/II IND application for CT103A, an anti-BCMA CAR-T co-developed with Innovent Biologics for the treatment of relapsed refractory multiple myeloma (rr/mm). In addition, a number of new drug candidates have entered the pre-clinical stage or are involved in investigator-initiated clinical trials, with several of these drugs expected to enter clinical trials in the next two years.
“IASO BIO welcomes the support and investment from Hillhouse Capital, and we view them as our long-term partner,” said Brian Hall, co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Business Development, IASO BIO. “With their support and guidance, we are very confident in our ability to execute on our vision for the company. Their commitment enables us to accelerate the progress of research projects, enhance the team's capabilities globally, bring new hope to patients, and attract the right talent with ambition to join us.”
Michael Yi, Co-CIO of Hillhouse Capital, stated, "Biomedicine is one of the areas that is most thoroughly investigated and heavily involved in by Hillhouse. We are dedicated to creating value in this industry and promoting the growth of companies with ingenuity, innovation, vision and devotion. We are deeply impressed by IASO BIO’s diverse team and proactive culture. IASO BIO boasts a unique development platform for fully-human antibody, a solid CMC process for plasmid viruses and cell products, efficient corporate governance, and innovative products with excellent clinical data. IASO BIO also has strategic collaborations with leading international research institutions. What an achievement to have built up such capability and potential in a time span of just three years! It gives us great pleasure to cooperate with IASO BIO and we hope to contribute to their becoming an internationally competitive company with a portfolio of innovative drugs.”
About GL Ventures
GL Ventures is a venture capital fund of Hillhouse Capital that focuses on early-stage innovative companies in four major areas: healthcare, software services, consumer Internet, emerging consumer brands and services. Founded in 2005, Hillhouse Capital is one of the largest investment institutions in Asia, focusing on discovering and creating value. Biomedicine and healthcare has always been Hillhouse’s key investment area. We are committed to creating a "people-oriented ecosystem, focusing on support for innovative healthcare." Built on professional investment capabilities and solid industry research, GL Ventures has invested in an array of innovative companies such as BeiGene, Innovent Biologics, Junshi Biosciences, I-Mab Biopharma, Frontage Laboratories, Nano-Micro, Medcaptain, Pinsmedical, Clinplus, Peijia Medical, Perfect Diary, Ijovo, Zoom, Deepexi, Xforceplus, Yunzhangfang, Moka, Hetao101, Codemao, Magic Ears, Kaochong, More Tickets, Beidian, and Shanzhen. In the future, GL Ventures will continue to find visionary early-stage entrepreneurs and help them grow into future industry leaders.