China’s CANbridge Life Sciences gains $25M series B, plots new cancer trials

The China-based biotech has now raised more than $40 million.

Beijing-based CANbridge Life Sciences has pulled off a $25 million funding round, bringing its total two rounds up to $40 million as it plans new oncology trials and “additional strategic transactions” this year.

The new round was led by Lapam Capital, a Beijing-based life science venture capital firm, with cash also coming from Qiming Venture Partners, Yuanming Capital, Yanyuan Capital, Biossom Investment Management and Wuxi App Tec.

CANbridge says it will funnel the cash into its two lead compounds, CAN008 and CAN017, in China.

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CAN008, a cancer immunotherapy, is currently in a phase 1/2 trial in Taiwan for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer with few treatment options.

The biotech says a CAN008 GBM trial is slated to start in China next year, and has a development, manufacturing and commercial license deal with Apogenix for the med.

CAN017, meanwhile, an antibody cancer immunotherapy, will target esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC), the most common form of esophageal cancer in Asia. The drug was originally licensed out of Aveo where it had been known as AV-203.

The company says it also has plans for additional strategic transactions in 2017, although it did not give details of what these might be. The company did say in its release, however, that: “Led and backed by a highly-seasoned executive team, with extensive Chinese drug development experience, CANbridge has the capability to select, acquire, develop and commercialize future therapeutics and diagnostics targeting the unmet medical needs of Chinese and East Asian patients with serious or critical conditions.”

“We are delighted with the strong response from the market in this round of financing,” said James Xue, Ph.D., CANbridge chairman and CEO.

“We welcome the new institutional investors, as well as appreciate the continuing support from Qiming and endorsement of our vision, strategy and programs," he continued. "These funds will bolster CANbridge’s financial position and strategy to build a pipeline of leading candidates in solid-tumor oncology in China. It enables us to advance our clinical trial program in our two lead candidates, CAN008 and CAN017, in China, where we hope to address the serious needs of patients with glioblastoma multiforme and esophageal squamous cell cancer, diseases with almost no effective treatment options.”

CANbridge already has an agreement with EUSA Pharma to commercialize Caphosol in China, a therapy for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis caused by cancer treatments.