China’s WuXi, Johnson & Johnson-backed XW Labs lands $17.5M series B

The biotech is focused on mitochondria in relation to certain CNS disorders

Chinese neurological disorders startup XW Laboratories has seen a $17.5 million series B, bumping up its total raise from its first round to $23 million.

The funding boost was led by Elements Capital and WI Harper, with help from new investor KTB Network, and all existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers China (KPCB China), Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and WuXi Venture.

XW Labs said in a statement that it will “utilize funds to continue the development of its multiple programs that are entering clinical and IND-enabling studies.”

It focuses on several areas: The first is targeting a boost to the safety profiles of existing meds, as well as potential new indications.

The other is a new platform focused on reducing damage to the mitochondria, the so-called “powerhouses of the cell,” which has been linked to a number of neurological disorders.

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“Our company is entering a critical stage where we anticipate at least one program to enter clinical trials per year starting in 2018,” said Jia-Ning Xiang, founder and CEO of XW Labs.

More details on specific targets and MAOs were not given.