Impact Therapeutics Raises $30 Million in Series C

Money coins

Impact Therapeutics, headquartered in Nanjing, China, completed a Series C financing round worth $30 million. The round was led by Decheng Capital with participating from Lilly Asian Ventures (LAV).

The company plans to use the funds raised to advance clinical development of IMP4297, its potential best-in-class PARP inhibitor to treat unspecified cancers. The drug is currently in Phase I clinical trials in Australia and China.

“Impact is committed to the discovery and development of best-in-class therapeutics to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Sui XIong Cai, senior vice president and chief technical officer of Impact, in a statement. “Our data indicates that IMP4297 could be more efficacious and/or less toxic than other PARP inhibitors currently in the market, making it a potential best-in-class drug. With this Series C financing, we are well-positioned to achieve key data milestones as we accelerate the clinical development of IMP4297, in the hope of bringing it to market and patients soon.”

Impact raised $10 million in a Series B round in 2016, with investors China Summit Capital, Guangzhou Yuexiu Industrial Investment Fund, Sungent Bioventure, Haibang Ventures and Lilly Asia Ventures. Its Series A round was in 2014, with investors Lilly Asia Ventures, Cenova Capital and Wuxi AppTec Ventures, for an unspecified amount.

The reason it appears to be unspecified is because the Series A round was something of a disaster. When the company raised $10 million in Series B, BioWorld noted, “The company has chosen its investors this time around carefully, a lesson it had to learn the hard way. Impact is one of many Chinese companies that has weathered the dangers of working with mainland investors inexperienced and impatient to withstand the rigors of innovation, in particular new drug development.”

In 2010 it received angel investment from a Nanjing-based real estate businessman. Chinese real estate at that time had been in a five-year period of double-digit growth, which is not typically seen in biotech. The company’s chief executive officer Ye Edward Tian, told BioWorld Today, “In our six years of history, we have already survived one near-death experience.” He was referring to the angel investor abruptly withdrawing its support.

Since then it has been more careful, going with investors with experience and interest in healthcare and biopharmaceutical investment.

“We are grateful for the faith our new and existing investors have shown in us, and for sharing our vision of developing the best potential treatments for cancer patients with DNA repair defects,” said Ye Edward Tian in a statement. “Decheeng and LAV are renowned global VC firms in the biomedical industry. With the capital and resources provided by Decheng and LAV, we will be able to advance the clinical development of IMP4297 and enrich our pipeline.”

PARP inhibitors are used to treat cancer patients whose cancers are caused by defects in DNA repair mechanisms, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Three PARP inhibitors have been approved outside of China. These are AstraZeneca’s Lynparza, Clovis Oncology’s Rubraca, and Tesaro's Zejula.

Xiangmin Cui, founder and managing director of Decheng, said in a statement, “IMP4297 has shown potential to be a best-in-class drug in both pre-clinical studies and clinical trials. Impact is an excellent Chinese company with products that can compete globally. We are very happy to collaborate with the Impact team and to support Impact’s growth.”

The funds will also be used to advance the company’s integrated programs that target DNA Damage Response (DDR).

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