NEW YORK – AnHeart Therapeutics on Tuesday said it has raised $61 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round that it will use to advance its pipeline of next-generation precision oncology drugs.
The financing was led by new investor Octagon Capital, with contributions from Innovent Biologics, Cenova, Laurion Capital, and Sage Partners.
AnHeart, which is headquartered in Hangzhou, China, and has an office in New York, will use the funds to further develop its lead therapy, the ROS1 inhibitor taletrectinib. The therapy targets solid tumors with ROS1 or NTRK fusions and is designed to cross the blood-brain barrier and work against tumors that have become resistant to the first-generation ALK/ROS1 inhibitor crizotinib (Pfizer's Xalkori).
Taletrectinib is currently being studied in the Phase II TRUST trial ongoing in China, which has yielded preliminary results showing antitumor activity in ROS1 fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer patients who previously received and did not receive crizotinib. In October, AnHeart began dosing patients in a single-arm Phase II trial of taletrectinib who had previously received ROS1 inhibitor therapy. The company is also studying the drug in a basket trial involving patients with NTRK fusion-positive solid tumors.
AnHeart said in a statement that it will also use the funds to advance its pipeline, including AB-218 and AB-329. The mIDH1 inhibitor AB-218 is in Phase II trials for lower grade glioma, cholangiocarcinoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and other tumors. The AXL inhibitor AB-329 is being studied in Phase I trials in combination with checkpoint inhibitors or chemotherapies for NSCLC, ovarian cancers, and breast cancers.
AnHeart was founded in 2018 and has raised $100 million in gross proceeds to date. "The [latest] funding will also allow us to continue expanding our team of world-class scientists and researchers focused on bringing game-changing cancer therapeutics to improve patients' lives," Lihua Zheng, cofounder and chief business officer of AnHeart, added in a statement.