On February 28, 2023 Oricell Therapeutics Co., Ltd ("Oricell" or "the Company"), a China-based innovative pharmaceutical company committed to the development of tumor cellular immunotherapeutics, reported the close of a $45M Series B1 investment round after the completion of a $125M Series B fund-raise in July 2022 (Press release, OriCell Therapeutics, FEB 28, 2023, View Source [SID1234627937]). The round was led by premier global industry investors RTW Investments, LP ("RTW") and Qatar Investment Authority ("QIA"), with participation from existing investors, including Qiming Venture Partners and C&D Emerging Industry Equity Investment. The new injection of capital will be utilized primarily to support the company’s core product clinical development in the U.S.
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Oricell Chairman and CEO Helen Yang said, "We are thrilled with the momentum our team has built over the last several months and look forward to using this funding to further expand our platform and research. This round reflects our investors’ recognition of Oricell’s ongoing growth and the development of our robust pipeline of ground-breaking therapeutics. We look forward to continuing to help improving the lives of patients in need."
Over the past year, Oricell’s cell therapy pipeline and drug discovery platform have seen tremendous growth. Since the debut of Oricell’s first key product Ori-C101 at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) (Free ASCO Whitepaper) ("ASCO") Annual Meeting, the Company has been overcoming many difficulties and made unremitting efforts to achieve all the expected milestones, to attract widespread attention among investors worldwide with its increased presence in the global new drug market during 2022 and into 2023. The Company launched its red-chip restructuring in the fourth quarter of last year in parallel with series B round of financing. Ori-C101 received IND clearance from NMPA in September 2022. At 2022 ASCO (Free ASCO Whitepaper) annual meeting and European Hematology Association (EHA) (Free EHA Whitepaper) ("EHA") 2022 congress, Oricell presented the clinical research data of its proprietary CAR-T cell therapy targeting GPRC5D (OriCAR-017) for the treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma ("RRMM"). The oral presentation was very well received; subsequently, the product was granted an orphan drug designation by US FDA. Its follow-up data was published in Lancet Haematology on January 31 2023.
With this new funding, the Company is now well-positioned to expand its products to the U.S., specifically OriCAR-017, a GPRC5D CAR-T therapeutic that treats relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, which is a product currently on the stage of IND enabling both in the US and China.
Roderick Wong, M.D., Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of RTW, said "RTW continues to focus on advanced tumor cellular immunotherapeutics. As a long-term investor in the primary and secondary markets, we have been closely following Oricell and have been duly impressed by its milestone achievements over the past year. Today, we feel honored to have established a partnership with the company through the Series B1 financing. With our years of experience working in the U.S. market, we look forward to empowering Oricell and its team as they continue to provide cancer patients across the world with better therapies and create more value for the community."
About RTW Investment
Headquartered in New York, with offices in Shanghai and London, RTW Investments, LP is a global life sciences investment and innovation firm that focuses on identifying transformational and disruptive innovations across the biopharmaceutical and medical technologies sectors. As a leading partner of industry and academia, RTW combines deep scientific expertise with a solution-oriented investment approach to advance emerging medical therapies by building and supporting the companies and/or academics developing them. For further information about RTW, please visit www.rtwfunds.com
About Qatar Investment Authority
Qatar Investment Authority ("QIA") is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. QIA was founded in 2005 to invest and manage the state reserve funds. QIA is among the largest and most active sovereign wealth funds globally. QIA invests across a wide range of asset classes and regions as well as in partnership with leading institutions around the world to build a global and diversified investment portfolio with a long-term perspective that can deliver sustainable returns and contribute to the prosperity of the State of Qatar.
About Qiming Venture Partners
Founded in 2006, Qiming Venture Partners is a leading China venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Hong Kong, Seattle, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, Qiming Venture Partners manages eleven US Dollar funds and seven RMB funds with $9.4 billion in capital raised. Since our establishment, we have invested in outstanding companies in the Technology and Consumer (T&C) and Healthcare industries at the early and growth stages.
About C&D Emerging Industry Equity Investment
Xiamen C&D Emerging Industry Equity Investment Co., Ltd is a professional equity asset management company affliated to Xiamen C&D Corporation Limited, focusing on new economy sectors including healthcare, advanced manufacturing and innovative consumption.
The subsidiary manages a fund of RMB18 billion to help more emerging enterprises flourish.