The funding will be used to advance AskGene's robust pipeline of therapeutic candidates and develop the SmartKine® cytokine prodrug platform
AskGene Limited, a clinical-stage biopharma company specialising in innovative biological drug discovery and development – has reportedly announced the closure of $20 million in Series A financing.
Proceeds from the financing – led by TF Capital & Qiming Venture Partners – will be dedicated to boost clinical development of the company’s robust pipeline comprising innovative therapeutic products and advancement of SmartKine® cytokine prodrug platform.
Speaking on the latest influx, Jeff Lu, Chief Executive Officer of AskGene, mentioned that the fresh capital represents a great opportunity for the company.
It will help AskGene continue advancing multiple potentially first-in-class superior molecules from its proprietary platform to preclinical and clinical development by the end of this year.
Lu added that while the company is also focusing on extended development of its clinical programs like ASKB589 and ASKG712, AskGene hopes to achieve extraordinary results from several clinical programs in the near future.
According to Qiming Venture Partners Managing Partner, William Hu, IO is an ideal solution for the continuing impact of cancer – which is still one of the major disease burdens for patients.
Beyond AskGene’s deep expertise in IO and protein engineering, Venture Managing Partners believes the biopharma’s proprietary platform is progressing with the development of new pipelines catering to clinics and market.
Allan Liu, TF Capital’s Director, commented that AskGene’s exclusive SmartKine® platform is capable of addressing limitations encountered in first-gen recombinant cytokines by ensuring conditional activation of the protein within a tumor microenvironment and unlock therapeutic potential.
Essentially, cytokines are protein-based co-stimulators that can be very promising in immunotherapy, however, introduce severe systemic toxicity with short half-lives and have narrow therapeutic windows – bringing SmartKine® into the picture.
AskGene developed the transformational cytokine technology platform to overcome barriers in the existing cytokine therapeutics and bring next-gen cytokine therapies to patients with unmet needs.
The molecules are designed to activate targeted immune cells and improve developability, function specificity, and cytokine therapeutic index.