36Kr First Release丨Promoting clinical trials for the treatment of hepatitis B, "Drug Ranch" completed US$56 million financing

36Kr First Release丨Promoting clinical trials for the treatment of hepatitis B, “Drug Ranch” completed US$56 million financing

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36 Krypton learned that “Drug Ranch” today announced the completion of US$56 million in financing. As of the B round, investors include BioVida (BVCF), WuXi AppTec Enterprise Venture Fund, Zhongnan Venture Capital, Detong Capital and Zhejiang Minsheng Investment. The funds raised will be used to conduct clinical trials of the DF-006 drug. The drug is the first-in-class oral drug developed by the company to treat hepatitis B virus (HBV) and other liver diseases. The financing will further advance the research and development of other cancer and autoimmune disease product pipelines in the “Drug Ranch”.

Founded in 2015, “Medicine Ranch” is a biotechnology company rooted in China and the United States, using genetics and artificial intelligence technologies to develop innovative therapies for hepatitis B, tumors and autoimmune diseases. The company’s IDInVivo platform combines genetics and artificial intelligence to directly discover new drug targets in living animals with normal immune functions and use breakthrough technologies to create new treatment methods. Using the IDInVivo platform, “Drug Ranch” has discovered multiple new targets for innate immunity, and is currently rapidly advancing multiple First-in-class drugs into the clinical stage.

“Medical Ranch” product pipeline

According to the WHO report, there are approximately 257 million chronic HBV infections worldwide, and approximately 887,000 HBV infection-related diseases die every year. The latest data on the incidence of hepatitis B released by the “2020 China Health Statistics Yearbook” shows that from 2013 to 2016, the number of new cases of hepatitis B was relatively stable at around 950,000, and in 2017 it began to increase again, exceeding 1 million. In the past two years, the increase in the number of new cases of hepatitis B has slightly changed, but they are basically maintained at more than 1 million. Hepatitis B patients are still a huge group. However, the current hepatitis B therapy is far from being able to completely eliminate the virus and achieve a functional cure.

DF-006 is an immunomodulator targeting a new global patented target discovered on the IDInVivo platform of the “drug farm”. It treats chronic HBV through a new mechanism that regulates the body’s innate immunity, hoping to achieve a functional cure for HBV.

In addition to DF-006, other drugs developed by “Drug Ranch” are also concentrated in the fields of autoimmune diseases and inflammatory diseases, and the targets are all the world’s first new targets. Currently, “Medicine Ranch” has not disclosed the newly discovered targets.

In terms of core technology, the IDInVivo platform of “Drug Ranch” uses the mammalian piggyBac transposon technology pioneered by the team of founder and chairman Dr. Xu Tian, ​​and uses forward genetics methods to find new diseases in living mouse disease models Related genes, through mechanism research, discover potential disease targets. Next, “Drug Ranch” will use medicinal chemistry methods combined with artificial intelligence deep learning neural networks to quickly develop First-in-class small molecule drugs against new targets previously discovered.

“Drug Ranch” co-founder and COO Dr. Xu Cong told 36Kr that the piggyBac transposon used in the IDInVivo platform is a gene editing technology that can achieve random gene knockout or activation of the whole genome in immune-sound mice. The platform uses forward genetics to find the required disease-related phenotype, and then determine the gene mutation that inhibits the phenotype. This method has higher efficiency than CRISPR knocking out one or two genes at a time, and is more suitable for Discover new drug targets. At the same time, the company’s artificial intelligence technology for discovering First-in-class new drugs is a brand new deep learning neural network developed by the company for many years, which is a truly practical AI drug discovery method.

According to Dr. Xu Cong, “Drug Ranch” is a rare local biotechnology company that has been doing First-in-class new drugs from the target in 2015. The company’s ability to become the first batch of first-in-class new drug R&D companies in China has a lot to do with the founder Dr. Xu Tian’s 20-year industrialization experience in the United States. In 2015, companies like “drug ranch” that were purely first-in-class innovative drugs were not favored by venture capital, but from today’s point of view, “drug ranch” is ahead of many other Chinese innovative drug companies in the past five years. time.

In terms of the team, Dr. Xu Tian, ​​the founder and chairman of “Drug Ranch”, is the Chair Professor and Vice President of Genetics at West Lake University. He has served as the Deputy Chair and Chair Professor of the Department of Genetics at Yale University for 15 years. The institute has been a researcher for more than 20 years and was the director of the Institute of Developmental Biology of Fudan University. CEO and Director Dr. Henri Lichenstein has served as CEO of AI Therapeutics for many years. He has more than 30 years of drug development experience in CuraGen Corporation, Topotarget, Amgen and other companies, and has completed transactions with a total scale of more than 1 billion US dollars. Co-founder and COO Dr. Xu Cong graduated from Harvard University. He is the discoverer of the first self-renewing drug for muscle stem cells and the first author of the cover article of Cell magazine. He once worked in the world’s top management consulting company LEK in biopharmaceutical and biotechnology Project manager. Co-founder and CSO Dr. Tongrui Li is a PhD in genetics from the University of Georgia, completed post-doctoral training in genomics at Stanford University and Yale University, served as the core director of high-throughput genome analysis at Argonne National Laboratory, and served as mouse phenotype analysis at Yale University Deputy Director of the Experimental Center.


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