Biocytogen Completes a New Round of Financing Totaling Tens of Millions of Dollars
BEIJING and BOSTON, June 22, 2021- Biocytogen, an international biotechnology company focused on antibody drug research and development using innovative genetically engineered animal models, today announced the successful completion of a new round of financing totaling tens of millions of dollars. The financing was jointly completed by Lake Bleu Capital, CPE, Octagon Capital and OrbiMed.
Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals（Beijing）Co., Ltd. was established in 2009. Using its foundational gene editing technology, the company independently developed mouse platforms for fully human antibody discovery, RenMab® and RenLite®, that have independent intellectual property rights. With the implementation of these platforms, Biocytogen has evolved from a contract research and development organization (CRO) into an international biotechnology company with expertise spanning the entire process of new drug research and development, including antibody drug target verification, high-throughput single B cell antibody discovery technology, in vivo drug efficacy evaluation using humanized target mice, and clinical development.
Genetic engineering of RenMab® and RenLite® mice has enabled the integration of Biocytogen’s technological strengths into a unique large-scale research and development plan for the discovery of therapeutic antibodies, an initiative termed the RenMice HiTS Platform. The HiTS Platform signifies the company’s commitment to complete high-efficiency antibody discovery and in vivo drug efficacy screening of more than 1,000 antibody targets in the next few years, focusing on the discovery of first-in-class and best-in-class drug targets. Through the identification of antibody leads that have been verified for efficacy in animals, Biocytogen has established co-development partnerships with more than a dozen biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Yuelei Shen, founder and CEO of Biocytogen, said:
“In the two months from initiation to completion of this round of financing, the company has received extensive attention and recognition from top biomedical funds and long-term investment institutions. New shareholders with outstanding reputations are very welcome to join the Biocytogen family.
Paying attention to the R&D and innovation of the underlying technology is the cornerstone of our development. After more than ten years of large-scale R&D investment, we have achieved good results in the fields of super-large fragment gene editing technology, fully human antibody gene mouse development technology, and bispecific antibody development technology. These breakthroughs in the underlying technology enabling the company to continue to explore in the fields of monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, bispecific antibody–ADCs, and nanobodies.
The antibody drug molecules YH003 ([anti-]CD40) and YH001 ([anti-]CTLA-4) independently developed by Biocytogen and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eucure Biopharma, are in phase I clinical trials in Australia in combination with Junshi Biosciences’ PD-1 antibody Toripalimab. Both show excellent safety and good drug efficacy. The in vivo experimental data of YH003 and YH001 have been well verified in the preclinical stage, fully demonstrating the high reliability of the biopharmaceutical research and development method that uses animal efficacy data as the “gold standard” for drug preclinical screening. “
Dr. Bin Li, the founder of Lake Bleu Capital, said:
“We have been paying attention to Biocytogen for a long time. As a pioneer in the gene editing animal model industry, Biocytogen developed hundreds of humanized mouse models based on powerful gene editing technology, which has accelerated the new drug development process. The company’s independent development of the world’s leading fully human antibody mouse platform has laid a solid foundation for the company’s development.
Biocytogen integrates its various technology platforms built over the years to focus and evaluate innovative drug targets in a large-scale manner. Spot and screen antibody molecules, and then independently develop or cooperate with domestic and overseas pharmaceutical companies for clinical development. This strategic upgrade will undoubtedly greatly enhance the utility value of the company’s technology platforms, and it also reminds us of the successful path of Regeneron, a global leader in biotechnology research and development.
We hope to continue to support the company’s mid- and long-term strategy and help build Biocytogen’s unique antibody new drug research and development engine. “
Xia Cao, Executive General Manager of CPE, said:
“Gene-editing model animals are the basis for the development of innovative biopharmaceuticals. Biocytogen has more than ten years of technological accumulation, and has a solid technical foundation for the core antibody drug research and development system. We are very happy to work with ambitious entrepreneurs and look forward to helping Biocytogen to grow into an important force in innovative biopharmaceuticals in China and the world.”
Dr. Ting Jia, founder of Octagon Capital, said:
“Biocytogen has created a unique antibody drug development system. We very much recognize the excellent safety and good efficacy of YH003 and YH001 in clinical trials. This fully proves the effectiveness of the unique ‘Evidence-based’ drug development method.’
Iris Wang, partner at Orbimed, said:
“Biocytogen’s RenMice HiTS Platform project is a large-scale, high-efficiency antibody discovery and screening system, focusing on discovering the drug targets and antibody molecules with first-in-class and best-in-class potential. We very much agree with the exciting innovative drug development plan and we look forward to more innovations.”
(Quotations were translated from Chinese into English.)