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Avistone Nets $200M to Combine Operations With Pearl Biotech, Advance Precision Cancer Drugs

NEW YORK – Avistone Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday said it has received a $200 million strategic investment that it will use to combine its capabilities with Pearl Biotechnology and advance precision oncology therapies.

The investment was led by Vivo Capital with contributions from Bain Capital and Primavera Capital. The Beijing-based firm said in a statement that the funds will support its combination with San Francisco-based oncology company Pearl "to create a fully-integrated targeted oncology platform that will address unmet patient needs globally."

Avistone plans to use the funds to advance its existing pipeline of cancer drugs, support other R&D efforts and business development, scale commercialization capabilities, and "capitalize on opportunities in key markets outside of China" through the combined business.

Avistone has been developing precision oncology drugs for a decade. In a statement announcing the investment, the company noted that its lead product is a c-Met inhibitor in late-stage development for genetically defined non-small cell lung cancer and glioblastoma. Although Avistone didn't name the product, the company said the drug has garnered breakthrough therapy designation from China's National Medical Products Administration.

The company also has several investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitors against other molecular cancer drivers, including one agent that Avistone is studying in a Phase I dose escalation trial. Still other agents are undergoing preclinical and investigational new drug-enabling studies.