Alebund Pharmaceuticals Ltd. raised ¥200 million (US$29 million) in a pre-C financing round to support the clinical trials of its candidates for kidney disease. It also secured $800 million through a syndicated bank loan to build a manufacturing facility for small-molecule drugs in the Chinese city of Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, as it lays the groundwork for future commercialization.
During what has become one of the slowest IPO years in recent memory, cancer immunotherapy company Cytomed Therapeutics Ltd. debuted on Nasdaq, raising $9.65 million, while inflammatory disease firm Acelyrin Inc. filed to list its stock for a potential $100 million. Up to this point, there were only six biopharma IPOs completed this year – the fewest since 2013. Cytomed, which priced 2.4 million shares at $4 apiece, is now the seventh for 2023, and the fifth on Nasdaq. Two other IPOs have closed on Chinese markets.
Torl Biotherapeutics LLC has raised $158 million in a series B round as it seeks to nudge its anti-Claudin-6 antibody-drug conjugate candidates, TORL-123 and TORL-2307, beyond phase I trials for the treatment of ovarian and gastric cancers, respectively. Claudin-6, or CLDN6, is a molecule that forms tight junctions around cells. It is highly expressed in a range of solid tumor types, so is a popular target for drug development.
Alentis Therapeutics SA has closed a $105 million series C round which will fund simultaneous phase II and phase Ib trials of anti-Claudin-1 antibodies in the treatment of organ fibrosis and phase I development in fibrosis-associated cancers. At the same time, the company will extend the reach of its Claudin-1 biology into antibody-drug conjugates and bispecific constructs, to further exploit the role of the transmembrane protein in maintaining cellular integrity and controlling cell-to-cell signaling.
With no treatments available to effectively clear mucus, Aer Therapeutics Inc. secured $36 million in a series A financing to advance its novel inhaled small-molecule mucolytic treatment, AER-01, bringing optimism to about 5 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have a high burden of mucus plugs.
Sirius Medical BV reported successfully closing a $13 million series B round to develop its tumor localization technology. This round was led by Holland Capital Management BV, with support from existing investor BOM Capital BV – through their vehicle, Brabant Ventures – along with Curie Capital BV and Team Holmium BV, plus major investment from Sirius Medical’s management and team. Norgine Ventures Management Ltd., joined as a new investor in this round.
Function Oncology Inc. emerged from stealth on April 12 with the announcement of a $28 million series A financing that will continue support development of its CRISPR-enabled platform to profile cancer in patient-specific detail. The platform goes beyond next-generation sequencing to measure gene function, potentially allowing identification of new therapeutic targets and better matching of available therapies to vulnerabilities in an individual’s tumors.