NEW YORK – NiKang Therapeutics on Wednesday said it has raised $200 million in an oversubscribed Series C financing that it will use to fuel its growth as a developer of precision oncology drugs.
The financing round was led by Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, and Octagon Capital Advisors, and included existing investors CBC Group, RTW Investments, Lilly Asia Ventures, Matrix Partners China, and Casdin Capital. The funding round attracted several new investors including EcoR1 Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Wellington Management, Ally Bridge Group, Pavilion Capital, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, RA Capital Management, Surveyor Capital, Samsara BioCapital, PFM Health Sciences, Invus, Janus Henderson Investors, and Logos Capital.
These investors' "support of our vision allows us to build the world's leading precision oncology company," Zhenhai Gao, NiKang's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. "We are now well positioned to rapidly advance our pipeline into the clinic including our differentiated HIF-2 alpha inhibitor, and to bring our company to the next level of growth.”
Delaware-headquartered NiKang develops cancer therapeutics against difficult-to-drug targets. It plans to use the raised funds to move its lead drug candidates to the clinic, expand its therapeutic pipeline, and support internal drug discovery efforts.
Earlier this year, San Diego-based precision oncology firm Erasca licensed a SHP2 inhibitor dubbed ERAS-601 from NiKang for further development. Erasca is studying the drug in patients with solid tumors driven by certain molecular aberrations.
In line with the financing, Bing Yao, former CEO and chairman of Viela Bio, and Ting Jia, founder and chief investment officer of Octagon Capital Advisors, will join NiKang's board of directors.