EdiGene Gets $67 Million Infusion to Bring Gene Editing to the Clinic

EdiGene raked in approximately $67 million in a series B financing round to further their genome-editing pipeline and expand the team. The Beijing-based biotech is currently leading the gene editing wave in China with four platforms steadily advancing.

Launched in 2015, EdiGene’s pipeline was created around CRISPR gene editing technology. Right now, its fastest progressing projects are ET-01 for severe β-thalassemia, a hereditary blood disease, and U Car-T ET-02 for cancer. CEO Dong Wei said this round will help them transform their pipeline into clinical stage, drawing them closer to their goal of bringing innovative and high-quality gene-editing therapies to patients in need.

Their ET-01 therapy uses gene-editing technology to edit BCL11A erythroid enhancer in hematopoietic stem cells. The aim is to increase fetal hemoglobin levels in red blood cells for severe β-thalassemia patients. These patients have few options and are desperate for better treatments.

For their second lead candidate, ET-02, EdiGene is leveraging their partner Immunochina’s proprietary CAR-T to create a therapy that can edit immuno-rejection molecules in T cells from healthy donors to treat cancer patients.

CEO Dong Wei said of their partnership’s potential, “We believe that allogenic T-cell therapeutics has tremendous potential, by offering innovative T-cell therapies ‘off the shelf’ with more effective quality control and lower cost.”

EdiGene also has some in vivo therapies in research phase that use an RNA base editing approach using LEAPER technology. Their front-runner aims to treat Hurler Syndrome, the most severe form of mucopolysaccharidosis, a rare lysosomal storage disease resulting in a wide variety of symptoms caused by damage to several organ systems. They are also working on targeted therapeutics focused on solid tumor treatment.

The biotech has raised approximately $100 million in the last two years. This latest round of financing was led by 3H Health investment, with participation from new investors: Sequoia Capital China, Alwin Capital and Kunlun Capital. Previous partners IDG Capital, Lilly Asia Venture, Huagai Capital and Green Pine Capital Partners also joined in.

“We are very pleased to have the support and partnership from our investors, which propels the company to an exciting new stage,” said Wensheng Wei, Scientific Founder of EdiGene. “Together with the investors, we look forward to translating cutting-edge gene editing technologies into innovative therapies, bringing hope and health to patients and their families.”

EdiGene was recognized last year by CYZone, a leading innovation service platform, as one of their “2019 Top 50 Healthcare Innovation Enterprises in China.”

Oct 14, 2020

https://www.biospace.com/

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