Transpacific Oncology Biotech AnHeart Therapeutics Raises $ 61 Million In Preparation For Principal ROS1 Inhibitor – Endpoints News


In China, the character 安, pronounced An in English phonetics, has a few different translations – but they all have the same general meaning: calm, secure, comfortable.

And for precision oncology biotechnology AnHeart Therapeutics, that Chinese character helps define the purpose of the company.

“In Chinese the pronunciation actually means something – [it] has a special meaning: calm, safe, comfortable. So it’s really – you’ve got a very calm heart, a comfortable heart full of patients. So we try to make drugs so that the patient feels comfortable, safe. Feel calm, ”said AnHeart CBO and co-founder Lihua Zheng News from terminals.

The low-key Sino-New York biotech announced this morning that it had completed an oversubscribed Series B – raising $ 61 million in its biggest raise yet. The round, led by new investor Octagon Capital, involved a few other investors in the funding, including Innovent, SagePartners and Laurion Capital, linked to Eli Lilly. This new increase brings AnHeart to a total increase of $ 100 million since its inception, but that cash flow won’t last too long for biotech. The company has grown significantly since January, from 27 employees in its offices in China and New York in January to 65 employees on Monday.

In the New York offices of AnHeart Therapeutics. (Michael Nagle)

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With current plans to expand the business to 100 employees next year, the $ 61 million is only expected to last 12 to 18 months for AnHeart, Zheng said. And AnHeart will begin looking to complete a Series C in the second quarter of next year.

Biotechnology, founded in December 2018 after licensing their three current drug candidates from Daiichi Sankyo – retaining global rights for two of the candidates and ex-Japan rights for the third – has a current lead candidate known as name of taletrectinib, a combination of ROS1 and NTRK Inhibitor which is undergoing phase II trials for NSCLC. According to Zheng, phase II trials can be considered registrations, because the potential population to study with some mutated NSCLCs may be too small for phase III research.

And for Zheng, what makes taletrectinib unique is that for patients with ROS1 mutations in their cancer, the drug can overcome physical resistance to crizotinib, a previous generation NSCLC treatment that primarily targets ALK mutations, with minor emphasis on ROS1 mutations. And this physical resistance in patients with mutated NSCLC has been documented and studied over the past decade.

For drug approval, although Zheng did not provide details, he said the general timeline is that he expects to file an NDA in China in the second or third quarter of the year. next – the United States being a year after that.

And regarding any plans to expand AnHeart’s pipeline beyond the current three applicants, AnHeart has begun development of some internal programs, but those goals are withheld.


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