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SAN DIEGO, Nov. 22, 2021 -- Neurophth Therapeutics Ltd., (“Neurophth”), a fully integrated genomic medicines company dedicated on seeking to improve lives through the curative potential of gene therapies, today announced the closing of over $60 million USD in Series-C financing with a premier syndicate of investors, co-led by CMG-SDIC Capital and Sequoia Capital China. Additional new investors include funds and accounts managed by Sunshine Insurance and China Merchant Bank International Capital. To support Neurophth’s rapid growth, this round of financing will be used to progress its lead clinical program in LHON to ex-China, enrich R&D pipeline and programs through business development and continue to expand the international standard gene therapy manufacturing platform.
Neurophth’s lead candidate NR082 (rAAV-ND4, NFS-01) marks the first AAV2 gene therapy IND application approval in China with the first patient being dosed in June 2021. The 8,000 square-meter gene therapy-focused current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) production facility. Neurophth’s own cGMP production facility is designed to reach manufacturing scales suitable for future commercial production and the facility is also co-located with the development laboratories.
Bin Li, Chairman and Founder at Neurophth, said, “We are very honored to be joined by top investment institutions in biopharmaceutical field. The support of our investors not only speaks a recognition of the company's achievements but is also a motivation for further development. The potential of gene therapy to change patients' lives has never been greater. Neurophth's product candidates have significant potential to improve the lives of patients and families. We are very pleased to have leading China and ex-China investors to support the company mission and vision. We adhere to our core values: Honesty, Ownership, Patient-first, and Excellence (HOPE) driving everything we do, and we bring these values to life every day with all that we do. This Series-C financing further validates our AAV technology and in-house cGMP platforms and facilitates our ability to bring life-changing gene therapies to patients suffering from genetic diseases.”
“Neurophth has made gratifying growth this year, and the company's core product NFS-01 has entered the registered clinical trial in China. All this is inseparable from the long-term trust and strong support of investors!” said Alvin Luk, Chief Executive Officer of Neurophth. “It is also an exciting time for Neurophth with other promising programs, including the gene therapy treatment for ND1 mediated LHON is in the clinic in China, and for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy entering the late preclinical development stage. The most exciting of all is that we have had many discussions with other companies to expand our R & D pipeline to extra-ocular diseases and license-out our products to outside of China. We will continue to improve the AAV ophthalmic gene therapy and CMC production platform, strive for greater breakthroughs in technological innovation and industrialization, and launch safe, effective, and affordable drugs for patients.”
CMG-SDIC Capital life science team mentioned: “Life science is the key investment field of CS Capital. We have noticed the broad application prospect of AAV in gene therapy. Neurophth is one of the few companies that have really brought products to clinical trials and has gained high recognition with obvious advantages in technology development, clinical translation, production, and commercialization. At this exciting time, CS Capital is very pleased to help Neurophth grow into a leading global ophthalmic gene therapy company and promote the development of China's gene therapy industry. We look forward to the approval of Neurophth's products for the benefit of patients worldwide.”
Trency Gu, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital China, said: “In the past one and a half years, Sequoia Capital China has witnessed the encouraging progress of Neurophth in clinical development, production capacity and commercialization layout. We highly recognized the strong technical strength and execution of Prof. Bin Li's team. We will continue to support Neurophth and hopes that Neurophth will soon bring breakthrough therapeutic solutions to patients worldwide and grow into an innovative, internationally-competitive technology company.”
Neurophth is China’s first gene therapy company for ophthalmic diseases. With subsidiaries in China (Wuhan, Shanghai, and Suzhou) and US (San Diego, California), Neurophth, a fully integrated company, is striving to discover and develop genomic medicines for patients suffering from genetic diseases globally. Our validated AAV platform, which has been published in Nature - Scientific Reports, Ophthalmology, and EBioMedicine, has successfully delivered proof-of-concept investigator-initiated trials data of 198 subjects with investigational gene therapies in the retina. Our most advanced investigational candidate, NR082 (NFS-01 project, rAAV2-ND4), in development for the treatment of ND4-mediated LHON, has been granted orphan drug designation (ODD) by the U.S. FDA and its IND evaluating NR082 in a Phase 1/2/3 clinical trial has also been approved by the China NMPA in March 2021 with the first patient being dosed in June 2021. The pipeline also includes ND1-mediated LHON, autosomal dominant optic atrophy, optic neuroprotection (e.g., glaucoma), vascular retinopathy (e.g., diabetic retinopathy), and five other preclinical candidates. Neurophth has initiated the scaling up in-house manufacturing process in single-use technologies to support future commercial demand at the Suzhou facilities. To learn more about us and our growing pipeline, visit www.neurophth.com.
About CMG-SDIC Capital
CS Capital Co., Ltd. is an independent private equity fund manager established in August 2009. It currently advises and manages over RMB 100 billion (US$ 14.4 billion) of capital. Its investors include a wide range of institutional investors including China Social Security Fund, ICBC, and other state-owned and private capital and financial institutions. CS Capital focuses on investing in smart manufacturing, intelligent NEV, life science, information, and communication technology.
About Sequoia Capital China
The Sequoia Capital China team helps daring founders build legendary companies. In partnering with Sequoia Capital China, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we’ve learned over 49 years. As “The Entrepreneurs Behind The Entrepreneurs”, Sequoia Capital China focuses on three sectors: technology/media/telecom, healthcare, and consumer/service. Over the past 16 years we’ve had the privilege of working with approximately 600 companies in China.