SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On August 27, 2021, Shenzhen IONOVA Life Science Co., Ltd. ("IONOVA" or "the company"), a clinical-stage biotechnology company located in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area of China, announced completion of a new financing round of USD $100 million, jointly led by Tsing Song Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group Company, Ltd. ("SCGC"), and Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund, with existing shareholders Dyee Capital and Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) adding to their holdings. Life Venture served as financial advisor.
IONOVA was founded in November 2016 by Dr. Yongkui Sun, a former veteran from Merck Research Laboratories for over 20 years in R&D and business development, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. IONOVA’s thrust is to develop a new generation of innovative targeted and immuno therapies for more effective cancer treatment.
IONOVA leadership consists of a team with extensive drug hunting experiences ranging from disease biology to early clinical development. The company’s unique research arm, Touchstone Translational Research Institute, enables the company to establish both internal disease biology-driven drug discovery programs, and external collaborations with academia and industry to translate discoveries in basic biomedical research into novel therapies for cancer treatment. IONOVA has a rich pipeline of drug candidates fighting cancers and cancer resistance. Among them, INV-1120 is in Ph I in the US.
"We at IONOVA are committed to translation of basic biomedical research discoveries into novel drugs with differentiated clinical benefits in cancer treatment. We are excited to complete this round of financing led by Tsing Song Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group Company, Ltd. ("SCGC"), and Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund, three venture firms renowned in fueling growth of biotechnology in China. We are also delighted to have continued support from our earlier investors Dyee Capital and Lilly Asia Ventures. The fund will fuel rapid advancement of a growing number of preclinical and clinical oncology candidates in IONOVA pipeline. Jointly we will use our collective creativity to bring forward IONOVA innovations from the Great Bay Area to global marketplace and to the benefits of cancer patients around the world," said Dr. Yongkui Sun, founder, Chairman and CEO of IONOVA.
"IONOVA has a well-defined R&D strategy that solidly anchors on a deep understanding of cancer biology and patient needs and focuses on creating novel cancer therapeutics that have significant clinical values and clear product differentiation. To improve success of novel drug discovery efforts, IONOVA established an innovative industry-leading translational research platform that aims to harness the collective ingenuity of scientific ecosystem. IONOVA constantly strives for scientific excellence and accelerates drug development by intense focus on projects that have strong scientific rationale, combination synergy and biomarker strategy to bring our innovations sooner to patients," said Dr. Xiang S Ye, Chief Scientific Officer of IONOVA.
"It’s our honor to support IONOVA, as well as continue to boost the company’s promising research and development pipeline. We believe there remains a variety of untapped opportunities in the global oncotherapy field. Moreover, we strongly agree with the company’s development strategy. The company has been engaged in the tumor microenvironment and immunoregulation since its founding. A synergetic pipeline of "immunotherapy + targeted therapy" has been constructed, clinical development of various drugs are being systematically and rapidly advanced, and the pipeline is also being further enriched. These all prove the strong execution capabilities of the company’s management team. We are confidently looking forward to a future where IONOVA will become the leading enterprise of innovative drugs in the oncotherapy field in China and even globally, healing patients, and fulfilling its vision," said Dr. Zhang Song, founder of Tsing Song Capital.
"IONOVA has a world-class R&D team for innovative cancer drugs. The company is equipped with experienced scientists in all areas of new drug R&D and has established a strong R&D platform for translational medicine, which continuously contributes to high-value product pipelines. All product pipelines have global interests and pay great attention to synergy; the company’s overall development strategy is highly consistent with the current policy orientation of China and development trend of the global pharmaceutical industry. We are very optimistic about the company’s future development potential, " said Dr. Xing Zhibin of SCGC.
About Tsing Song Capital:
Tsing Song Capital is a private equity firm that focuses on investment opportunities in the biotechnology and healthcare industries. Founded in 2017, Tsing Song Capital has invested in over 20 portfolio companies, with a management team that has a profound medical industry background and private equity investment experience. Most of Tsing Song Capital’s portfolios are reputable companies across diverse fields including biopharmaceuticals, genetic technology, medical devices, diagnostics, and healthcare services, including, SinoCellTech-U(688520), Sino Biological Inc.(301047), United Imaging, etc.
SCGC takes discovering and achieving great enterprises as its mission and is committed to being an innovator and cultivator of innovation value. Since its establishment in 1999, SCGC has managed more than 400 billion yuan of funds, and invested in more than 1000 innovative high-tech enterprises, of which 194 have been publicly listed. The invested enterprises cover information technology, Internet, biotechnology/health, new energy/energy conservation and environmental protection, new materials, intelligent manufacturing, consumer goods/modern services and other industries, covering the whole life cycle of the enterprise.
About Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund:
Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund is jointly initiated and established by large international industrial institutions, financial institutions and new economy enterprises. It aims to seize the historical opportunities such as the development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the construction of an International Innovation and Technology Hub, focusing on biomedicine, scientific and technological innovation, industrial upgrading, quality of life, smart city and other related fields. The fund covers the whole life cycle of venture capital, private equity investment, listed company investment, M&A investment and other projects. It provides financial support for top entrepreneurs and enterprises, connects industrial and financial resources, achieves long-term returns for shareholders and investors, and contributes to economic and social development.
About Dyee Capital:
Dyee Capital focuses on investments in the modern service industry and gives priority to the fields of healthcare, information services and consumption upgrading. The management team has many years of investment, investment banking, and industry experience, and has extensive market resources and professional post-investment service management. In the field of cancer treatment, Dyee Capital has invested in many innovative medical enterprises, including Zelgen Biopharmaceuticals (688266. SH), Allist Pharmaceuticals (688578. SH), Elpiscience Biopharma, InventisBio, Maxinovel Pharmaceuticals, FutureGen Biopharm, Phanes Therapeutics, Yingli Pharmaceutical, among others.
About Lilly Asia Ventures:
Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) is a leading biomedical venture capital firm founded in 2008, with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Menlo Park. LAV’s vision is to become the trusted partner for exceptional entrepreneurs seeking smart capital and to build great companies developing breakthrough products that can treat diseases and improve human health.
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