Lilly, OrbiMed back China cancer upstart InventisBio in $19M series B

The new round builds on last year's $11 million raise

Shanghai-based cancer and gout biotech InventisBio has raised $19 million in a series B financing, just a year after its $11 million series A, with the cash injection being led by OrbiMed Asia Partners and original backer Lilly Asia Ventures.

The startup, which is based in Shanghai but also with operations in U.S, has four early-stage meds focused on certain cancers and gout. Three of these are expected to enter phase 1 test in the U.S. and China before the end of the year.

Exact details on the mechanisms of actions, and the cancers being targeted, were not however disclosed in the release.

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The biotech does say that it is also “actively developing drugs that can be combined with other immuno-oncology targeted therapies, such as PD-1 antibody, for various cancer indications,” (although who isn’t these days).

The company was cofounded by Dr Yaolin Wang, alongside other scientists who have previously worked at Merck and Schering-Plough, leading various drug discovery projects in oncology, metabolic and infectious disease areas.

This latest round builds on its Series A last year, also then led by Lilly Asia Venture as well as SinoPharm Capital, hitting $11 million.

“This new investment will accelerate our product development through phase 1 clinical trials,” said Dr Wang, InventisBio co-founder, chair and CEO.

“Our goal is to develop novel medicines that will benefit patients not only in China, but also in the world. The strategic partnership with OrbiMed Asia and Lilly Asia Venture will help us establish a solid foundation for future growth in the global pharmaceutical market.”

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to build a truly innovative company together with the management team and our reputable co-investors, such as LAV,” added Dr Jonathan Wang, co-founder and senior MD of OrbiMed Asia.

“I believe ‘Created in China, for the world’ will become a major trend in our industry and InventisBio is well positioned to become a leader in this trend.”