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Investment Update : West Fountain Parallel Fund invested in Kezhou Pharmaceutical


Image from Shanghai Kezhou Pharmaceutical

In September 2020, West Fountain completed its investment in Shanghai Kezhou Pharmaceutical.

Kezhou Pharmaceutical is a new drug research and development company jointly established by Dr. Tian Hongqi, Eli Lilly Asia Fund, and Morningside Ventures based on Tianjin Binjiang Pharmaceutical Research and Development Co., Ltd. in 2014, dedicated to the research and development of small molecule anticancer drugs. The fund raised will be mainly used to promote the clinical research and listing application of the company's clinical-stage project HL-085 new anticancer drug and to enrich the company's product pipeline.

Dr. Hongqi Tian, founder and chairman of Kezhou, said: "We are very honored to be recognized and supported by well-known investment institutions in the biomedical field at home and abroad. This round of funding will accelerate the company's innovative drug research and development and clinical trials of products. Research, especially the clinical research and marketing application of MEK inhibitor HL-085 in the United States and China. As an innovation-driven new drug research and development company, our goal is to develop best-in-class innovative drugs to meet clinical needs. At the same time, it attracts and trains outstanding talents to strengthen our team building and develop the company into a powerful new drug research and development enterprise."

Small molecule targeted anticancer drugs have always been one of the critical areas of anticancer drug development. MEK inhibitors are important targeted drugs for RAS/BRAF gene mutations. RAS/RAF gene mutations are widespread in cancer patients. MEK inhibitors can be used alone or in combination with other drugs to achieve sound tumor treatment effects. The state drug MEK inhibitor HL-085 is currently undergoing phase I/II clinical studies in China and the United States at the same time. Clinical data shows that HL-085 has good safety and efficacy. Due to the importance of MEK targets, MEK inhibitors are frequently traded overseas. In June 2019, Pfizer acquired Array for US$11.4 billion in cash. Its main assets include the MEK inhibitor Binimetinib. In September of this year, Boehringer Ingelheim announced the license-in Lupin Pharmaceuticals' MEK inhibitor LNP3794 for a total value of US$700 million. These overseas transactions prove the broad market prospects of MEK inhibitors and the confidence of international pharmaceutical giants in MEK target small molecule drugs.