2021-10-13| China

China’s Metabolic Drugmaker Scores $70M Series C to Accelerate Drug Trials

by Tyler Chen
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After a $37 million Series B funding in February, China’s Hangzhou Sciwind Biosciences has topped its gains by raising $70 million in a Series C round. The proceeds are expected to accelerate the firm’s three metabolic drugs that target diabetes, obesity, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

“With the completion of this Series C financing round, Sciwind is now in a great position to rapidly advance our clinical development activities both in China and globally, allowing us to work expediently towards our mission of developing novel and effective therapies that can help patients living with the metabolic disease worldwide,” said Dr. Hai Pan, Founder, and CEO of Sciwind Biosciences.

The Series C is co-led by IDG Capital, Loyal Valley Capital, and LYFE Capital.


Advancing the Clinical Progress of 3 Drugs

Currently, the firm has six drugs in its pipeline, with one in Phase 2, two in pre-clinical trials, and three in the discovery phase. The three drugs that could be advanced most from the funding are XW003 (Phase 2), XW004 (Preclinical), and XW014 (Preclinical).

XW003 is a long-acting GLP-1 peptide analog designed to exhibit improved biological activity, cost-effective manufacturing, and once-weekly administration. It’s undergoing a Phase 2 trial to treat patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity, and the data is expected to be released in the second half of 2022. Furthermore, the Phase 1 clinical trial for NASH was approved by China in February 2021.

XW004, the oral version of the GLP-1 peptide analog, is expected to enter a Phase 1 trial in Q4 of 2021, with findings scheduled for release in the second half of 2022. Meanwhile, the small molecule XW014 plans to enter the Phase 1 trial in the first half of 2022. The drug will be combined with other oral drugs to boost efficacy for patients with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and NASH.

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Expanding Leadership Team

Aside from its strong financial sponsorships, Sciwind has appointed two talents into its leadership team—Xinle Wu, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer, and Martijn Fenaux, Ph.D. as Senior Vice President, Nonclinical Development and Translational Science.

Having more than 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, Dr. Wu has played several key roles, including Senior Scientific Director at Lilly China Innovation and Partnership, as well as several research leadership positions at Lilly China R&D Center and Amgen.

Dr. Fenaux is also an equally experienced industry leader, entrepreneur, and researcher. He co-founded Terns Pharmaceuticals, led many antiviral discoveries at Novartis, and succeeded in both the discovery and early clinical development of multiple drug candidates at Gilead Sciences.

“Dr. Wu and Dr. Fenaux are accomplished industry veterans who bring with them to Sciwind deep knowledge and strong expertise in discovering and developing innovative therapies to treat metabolic disease as well as other diseases. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Wu and Dr. Fenaux to join our R&D leadership team and look forward to working together with them to advance our lead programs as well as to initiate new research programs,” said Dr. Weidong Zhong, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Sciwind.

In February, Sciwind Biosciences scored $37 million in a Series B funding round led by LYFE Capital and joined by the existing investors, Legend Capital and Haibang Venture Capital.

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