Vivo Capital, Bain Capital and Primavera Capital have come together to place a $200 million-plus bet on lung cancer startup Avistone Pharmaceuticals as it looks to join forces with fellow oncology company Pearl Biotechnology.
Details are a little thin on the ground, with the VCs saying simply that the cash will go toward integrating the pair and creating a “fully-integrated targeted oncology platform that will address unmet patient needs globally.”
We do know that the initial focus is on lung cancer, a particularly prevalent form of the disease in China (a major base for the company), with its leading drug being a c-Met inhibitor in late-stage clinical development for genetically defined populations of non-small cell lung cancer as well as for the aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma.
The cash will also go toward boosting work on Avistone’s existing drug candidates, expanding its product pipeline through R&D and business development, helping the newly combined business work in key markets outside of China and scaling up ahead of potential approvals.
Avistone’s earlier-stage pipeline is primarily made up of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for other molecular drivers of cancer and includes a phase 1 dose-escalation clinical study. It also has several compounds in preclinical and IND-enabling studies.
“Avistone is a science-driven, innovative biotechnology company committed to the discovery and clinical development of first-in-class and best-in-class drugs,” said Hepeng Shi, chairman, CEO and founder of Avistone.
“We are thrilled for our company, team, and product pipeline to be recognized by such well-established global life sciences investors as Vivo Capital, Bain Capital, and Primavera Capital. We look forward to leveraging their resources and capabilities to realize our vision to become a global oncology leader that provides more effective treatment options and improves quality of life for patients around the world.”