Grit Biotechnology Completes Series A+ Financing to Accelerate Development of its Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) Therapy Pipeline Financing
SHANGHAI, China, July 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Grit Bio, a leading cell therapy company developing Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL) therapies, today announced the closing of a Series A+ financing. The financing was led by GL Ventures, the venture capital unit of Hillhouse Group, with participation from Apricot Capital and Junshi Biosciences (HKEX: 1877; SSE: 688180), as well as continued support from existing shareholders, Decheng Capital and Matrix Partners.
Grit Bio was founded in 2019. It is on track to bring the first TIL therapy to solid tumor patients in China. Over the past year, the company has assembled a team of seasoned experts in the cell therapy field whose expertise cover early development, manufacturing, registration and trial management. Its leading program - GT101, a genetically unmodified TIL therapy - is currently being tested at a multi-centered clinical trial in China for solid malignancies indications.
Grit Bio has established three technology platforms as the cornerstone for its TIL development - Stable Virus Producing Cell Line (StaViral) – a highly efficient T-cell editing platform, Immunueregulatory Target Finder (ImmuT Finder) – a discovery platform to identify T-cell optimization targets, Stemness TIL Expansion Technology (StemTexp) – a proprietary expansion method making TIL into a viable cell therapy product. The company is currently developing a potentially best-in-class next generation TIL therapy based on these platforms.
“We are fortunate to be surrounded by leading investors whose support will enable the acceleration of our lead program GT101 into clinical development as well as continue to develop our commercial footprint in China,” said Yarong Liu, Co-founder and CEO, Grit Bio. The funds raised will help Grit advance its lead program into the clinic and support the development of its rich preclinical pipeline. The company anticipates IND filing for GT101 in China early 2022, as well as development of its next generation TIL program in the coming years.
“It’s a really exciting time in the cell therapy space. And there is increasing market recognition for cell therapy as a mainstream cancer treatment. We believe Grit Bio is well positioned to leverage the market potential and develop TIL therapies to help solid tumor patients,” said GL Ventures.
About Grit Bio
Grit Bio is a leading Chinese cell therapy company founded by cell therapy experts from Duke University and University of Southern California in 2019. The company is currently developing novel cancer immunotherapies based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL). Its cell therapy program is committed to address the unmet medical needs and to improve the quality of life for patients with solid tumor.
About GL Ventures
GL Ventures focuses on early-stage innovative companies in healthcare, software services, consumer Internet, emerging consumer brands and services. The GL Ventures team is passionate about partnering with visionary entrepreneurs to create industry leaders that stand the test of time. GL Ventures is the venture capital arm of Hillhouse Group, and we have been investing with innovators across the world since 2005.
About Apricot Capital
Apricot Capital, founded in 2015, is a venture capital investment firm focusing on the healthcare industry ranging from biopharmaceuticals to medical devices, and healthcare services. Apricot Capital now manages over RMB 4 billion worldwide and has helped nurture and commercialize more than 40 enterprises including publicly listed companies such as Top Alliance (01877. HK), Akeso (09926. HK) and Sinomab (03681. HK), and other unicorns like Sinovent, Bellen, ImmVira, Ambrx, and Adimab. Apricot Capital is committed to advance the growth of its portfolio companies and promote industrial innovations through its rich resources within the investment communities and healthcare industry.
About Junshi Bioscience
Founded in December 2012, Junshi Biosciences is an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics. The company was the first Chinese pharmaceutical company that obtained marketing approval for anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody in China. Junshi Biosciences has over 2,000 employees in the United States (San Francisco and Maryland) and China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou).