Cytovant Sciences Announces $23.5 Million Financing Led by BNH Investment
HONG KONG and SEOUL, April 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Cytovant Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company founded by Roivant Sciences focused on developing and commercializing innovative cellular therapeutics in Asia, today announced the completion of a fundraising round with a $23.5 million investment from BNH Investment, POSCO Capital, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Smilegate Investment, and other leading Korean healthcare and venture capital investors.
Cytovant’s lead cell therapy program for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), CVT-DC-01, is based on dendritic cell (DC) vaccine technology in-licensed from Medigene in April 2019. Medigene recently reported positive topline data from a Phase 1/2 study in which 20 AML patients were treated with their DC vaccine FDC101 for 24 months following induction or consolidation therapy. Treatment with the vaccine was shown to be feasible, safe and well-tolerated over the 2-year treatment period, and the secondary outcome measures of overall survival rate (OS) and progression free survival rate (PFS) were shown to be 80% (N = 16, 95% CI: 55-92%) and 55% (N = 11, 95% CI: 31-74%), respectively.
Cytovant intends to use the proceeds of this funding round to advance both CVT-DC-01 and its lead TCR- transgenic T-cell (TCR-T) candidate, CVT-TCR-01, into the clinic in Asia.
“Asian patients have unique immunologic features and are treated in healthcare systems that may differ markedly from their Western counterparts. Our strategy is to develop treatments to address those needs precisely,” said Dr. John Xu, President of Cytovant. “This financing will rapidly accelerate the development of our medicines for patients in China, Korea, and Japan.”
“Cytovant has quickly established itself as one of the most innovative companies in the fast-growing cell therapy space,” said Myeong Hwan Kim, CEO of BNH Investment. “With its strong technology platform and territory-specific approach, we believe the company is well-positioned to become a leader in this important area of medicine. We are very pleased to partner with Cytovant and to help them bring vital new medicines to patients across East Asia.”
About DC Vaccine Therapeutics
Dendritic cell vaccines are a form of adoptive cell therapy (ACT) in which modified dendritic cells are used to stimulate the body’s existing immune effector cells. In the body, dendritic cells are responsible for presenting antigens to antigen-specific T cells, causing those T-cells to mature and proliferate. By modifying dendritic cells to present tumor-associated antigens, this capability can be directed to generate an anti-tumor response. Cytovant’s lead DC vaccine program, CVT-DC-01, targets two intracellular antigens commonly overexpressed in acute myeloid leukemia (WT-1 and PRAME).
About TCR-T Therapeutics
TCR-transgenic T-cell (TCR-T) therapeutics are a form of ACT in which genetically modified immune effector cells are used as a direct anti-cancer therapy. TCR-T therapeutics are generated by inducing the expression of modified T-cell receptors (TCRs) on the surface of T-cells, enabling their endogenous cell killing activity to be redirected against cancerous cells. Cytovant’s lead TCR-T program, CVT-TCR-01, targets an intracellular cancer-testis antigen called NY-ESO-1.
Cytovant is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative cellular therapeutics in Asia. Cytovant’s mission is to become Asia’s premier cell therapy company by discovering, developing, and commercializing new medicines that are uniquely suited to Asian patients. Cytovant’s technology platform is built on complimentary immunotherapeutic approaches, including TCR-transgenic T-cell (TCR-T) and dendritic cell (DC) vaccine therapeutics.