A fund under China's SDIC Fund Management Co. has led a RMB500 million (US$72 million) series B funding round in Ascentage Pharma, a Jiangsu province-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery of targeted small-molecule cancer therapeutics.
A number of new investors, all of which are RMB funds, and existing investors Oriza Holdings, Yuming Capital and others also participated.
"SDIC actively seeks projects with core technology in accordance with government policies. Innovative pharmaceuticals is a key area in the healthcare sector for us," said Lv Dazhong, managing director at SDIC Fund. "Ascentage Pharma has made major breakthroughs in apoptotic and autophagic dual-channel regulation of new targets, which is what attracted us to make the investment."
Ascentage Pharma spun off from Ascenta Therapeutics in 2009 and kept the entire Ascenta (Shanghai) research and development team and all of its facilities.
Currently, Ascentage Pharma has three molecules in phase I-II trials in the U.S., Australia and China, and another four molecules at IND reviewing or IND-enabling stages.
Ascentage Pharma focuses on clinically validated cancer targets. Its established research and development platforms include inhibitors to a number of key proteins, including Bcl-2/Bcl-xL, IAP and MDM2-p53.
Established in 2009, SDIC Fund manages over RMB50 billion (US$7.2 billion) from dozens of institutional investors, including China’s National Social Security Fund, State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC), several provincial investment corporations and listed companies.