Zensun Successfully Raised Approximately ¥504 million (US$76 million)
Zensun (Shanghai) Sci & Tech Co., Ltd., a biotech company that focuses on innovative therapeutics for cardiovascular and energy metabolic diseases, successfully raised about ¥504 million (US$76 million) recently. The State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC) Venture Capital Management, a state-owned investment fund, leads the financing this round. Xingfeng State Development Capital, Yijing Capital, China Venture Capital, Orient Securities, Everbright Ivy (Shanghai) Investment Center and other well-known investment companies also participated in this round of fund raising.
More than half of the fund raised this time will be used for development of the Company’s leading drug candidate, Neucardin®, a genetically engineered novel biologic for the treatment of mild and moderate chronic heart failure (CHF). “The money will be used for the completion of Neucardin®’s phase III trial in China and the launch of phase III trial in the U.S.,” said Zensun's Founder, CEO and Chief Scientist, Dr. Mingdong Zhou. The drug, currently in Phase III stage in China proves to be efficacious in building heart muscles and improving cardiac function. Currently available drugs for chronic heart failure treatment mainly improve the dilation of the artery and alleviate the symptoms of cardiac diseases, Neucardin®, on the other hand, targets the dysfunctional cardiomyocyte directly.
Results from the completed clinical trials showed that Neucardin® could reduce the one-year all-cause mortality by 62 percent in target population enriched by the biomarker NT-proBNP. In comparison, Novartis’ Entresto®, reduces the risk of one-year all-cause mortality by 16 percent in the overall NYHA II-IV patients.
Zensun’s product pipeline also includes the new indications of Neucardin® in HFpEF (diastolic heart failure), acute myocardial infarction and stoke; and a gene therapeutic product rAAV9.cMLCK for severe heart failure, the new drugs with multi-component synergistic combination for a variety of targets involved in brain energy metabolism, a cancer vaccine for patients with Her2 (ErbB2)-positive breast cancer and a compound ZS-05 for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infection.
Zensun aims to commence Neucardin®’s multi-regional phase III clinical trial in the U.S. and other countries in 2018. The trial will recruit about 1,000 patients worldwide and will be conducted by Zensun's subsidiary at San Diego in the U.S..
“We need further financing to complete our multi-regional phase III clinical study worldwide and we are considering all possible ways to raise another US$100 million,” said Dr. Zhou.