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Laekna closes $27.5 million series B funding


Shanghai, 02 Apr 2019 - Laekna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that specializes in the R&D of innovative drugs and owns multiple clinical-stage products, announced today that it has closed a $27.5 million Series B funding led by GP Healthcare Capital and followed by the earlier investor, OrbiMed Asia.


Following this round of funding, the company will advance clinical trials of three new cancer clinical research programs in its R&D pipeline and expand its pipeline portfolio, primarily in China and the United States. In May 2019, Laekna Therapeutics introduced a small molecule AKT inhibitor from Novartis AG. The inhibitor will be used to treat the advanced androgen-resistant prostate cancer in combination with another small molecule target inhibitor CYP17/CYP11B, which the company introduced from Novartis AG a year before.


As the center pivot of the PTEN/PI3K pathway, AKT has gained increasing attention and become a new and unique target inhibitor for anti-tumor therapies. The combination regimens of the AKT inhibitor will be able to address multiple tumor indications, such as those refractory to the PD-1 antibody treatment. The company plans to conduct a series of Phase I/II clinical trials and registrations in the United States, Europe, and China respectively. Laekna is also developing drugs for early-stage tumors and liver diseases including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis. These innovative drug products have intellectual property rights and are designed with cutting-edge medical technology to meet the patients' needs.


"Thanks to our investors for recognizing the philosophy, the technology, and the team of Laekna Therapeutics, and especially to GP Healthcare Capital for supporting our programs," said Dr. Chris Lu, Founder and CEO of Laekna Therapeutics, "The strong support from GP Healthcare Capital, OrbiMed Asia, and other investors will rapidly advance the clinical development of our existing products and strengthen our determination to introduce follow-up programs. As always, we will devote our best to develop new drugs and provide more drug regimens with better safety and efficacy for oncology patients.


About Laekna Therapeutics

Laekna, headquartered in Zhangjiang, Shanghai, is dedicated to the development of small molecule and antibody-targeted drugs, and focused on developing new targeted therapies to treat cancer and liver diseases. Laekna has developed an R&D pipeline based on disease causative biological mechanisms and molecular pathways, producing new, innovative, first-in-class and best-in-class drugs.


Laekna has already collaborated twice with Novartis AG of Switzerland, obtaining global rights for the small-molecule tumor treatment candidate LAE001, and two oral AKT pan inhibitors Afuresertib (LAE002) and Uprosertib (LAE003). Laekna continues R&D into their own in-house projects, developing new breakthrough drugs to benefit more patients, and building an internationally influential drug R&D platform.


About GP Healthcare Capital

Established in Apr 2015, GP Healthcare Capital is a subsidiary of GP Capital, focusing on medical and healthcare industry investments. The foundation‘s fields of investment include biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, mobile health & medical services, etc.  In both 2016 and 2017, GP Healthcare Capital was ranked by “” as Top 1 Investment Institution in Biology.  In 2016, The firm was ranked by China Venture as one of the TOP 10 Investment Institutions in Bio-medicine.  In 2017, it was further awarded with “The Best Investment Institution of the Year” by the PE Association of Shanghai.



About OrbiMed Asia

Founded in 1989, OrbiMed Capital LLC is the world's largest biomedical investment company managing approximately $13 billion assets. OrbiMed has invested in about 500 companies worldwide in the areas of biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, healthcare services, covering stages of start-up, growth, maturity, and post-IPO. OrbiMed Asia manages three Asia-focused venture capital and private equity funds totaling about $1.1 billion and has invested in nearly 50 leading healthcare companies, including Zai Lab (NASDAQ: ZLAB), Amoy Diagnostics (SZ: 300685), AK Medical (HKEX: 01789), ForteBio (acquired by Pall Corporation), Crown Bioscience International (TWSE: 6554), Angelalign, Genewiz, Eddingpharm.



Media Contact:


Tina Huang


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