Ansun BioPharma has gathered up $85 million in series A financing and plans to use the funds for an upcoming phase 3 trial of its DAS181 antiviral medication, which has received fast-track and breakthrough designations from the FDA.
The funding round was led by Sinopharm Healthcare Fund and Lilly Asia Ventures, and included investments from Yuanming Capital, Lyfe Capital, Oceanpine Capital, VI Ventures, Matrix Partners China, 3e Bioventures Capital and Joincap Investment.
In addition, Sinopharm’s Xiaoming Yang and Lilly Asia’s Yi Shi will be joining the company’s board of directors.
Ansun, headquartered in San Diego, is currently working with the FDA to design a clinical study that will evaluate its potentially first-in-class treatment in hospitalized, immunocompromised patients infected with the parainfluenza virus.
DAS181 is a recombinant protein that cleaves receptors on the surface of cells lining the respiratory tract, blocking the virus’ entry into epithelial cells and preventing infections, the company said in a statement.
The antiviral has demonstrated activity against a broad range of respiratory infections and influenza strains, including drug-resistant varieties and the pandemic bird and swine flu viruses, such as H7N9, H5N1 and H1N1.
According to the company, between 55,000 and 200,000 hospitalized patients are diagnosed with parainfluenza virus infections every year, and many have their immune systems compromised following cancer treatments or organ or stem cell transplants.