Tumor Immunotherapy Drug Developer Leman Biotech financing 50 Million RMB

Automotive Author: EqualOcean News Editor: Leci Zhang Jun 18, 2024 05:49 PM (GMT+8)

Lemang Biotech recently completed a total of 50 million yuan in Angel+ and Angel++ financing rounds, accumulating about 150 million yuan in angel funding and grants. The funds will be used to develop metabolic enhancement CD19 CAR-T cell therapy drugs and accelerate the clinical development of therapies for solid tumors.


EqualOcean reports that Leman Biotech, a developer of cancer immunotherapy drugs, recently completed angel+ and angel++ rounds of financing totaling 50 million RMB. New investors in this round include Fu Hui Venture Capital, Yunfan Technology Investment, and private financial investors, while existing investors Tiantu Investment and XtalPi continued their support. The company also received approximately 20 million RMB in various grants. Since its establishment in 2021, Leman Biotech has raised a total of about 150 million RMB through angel financing and grants.

The funds raised will be used for the IND application of the company's "ultra-low dose" metabolically enhanced CD19 CAR-T cell therapy drug and to accelerate the clinical development of metabolically enhanced cell therapy drugs targeting solid tumors.

In recent years, although immunotherapy has brought revolutionary breakthroughs to the field of cancer treatment, low response rates have become a major issue limiting further development. According to a report by Southwest Securities, even PD-1 products, often dubbed "miracle cancer drugs," have response rates of less than 30% in most solid tumors, and the overall efficacy of CAR-T therapy in solid tumors is less than 10%. The common bottleneck is T cell exhaustion.

"Current cancer immunotherapies, including PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors, mainly focus on activating precursor exhausted T cells within tumors. However, these are just a subset of exhausted T cells and are not directly linked to anti-tumor activity. Our approach targets terminally exhausted T cells, which directly contribute to tumor killing and have sustained therapeutic effects. Combined therapies show generally high response rates. Previously, it was thought that terminally exhausted T cells couldn't be directly regulated. However, we discovered that the immunosuppressive factor IL-10 can directly act on terminally exhausted T cells, promoting their proliferation and killing activity, thus overcoming a major challenge in cancer immunotherapy," explained Dr. Guo Yugang, co-founder of Leman Biotech.

Specifically, persistent antigen stimulation and the tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment are primary causes of T cell exhaustion. The Leman Biotech team found that IL-10 can enhance the oxidative phosphorylation metabolism of terminally exhausted T cells, achieving metabolic reprogramming and alleviating T cell exhaustion. Additionally, using IL-10-Fc fusion protein with extended half-life in combination with CAR-T therapy could potentially prevent and reverse T cell exhaustion, ultimately improving the response rate and efficacy of cancer immunotherapy.

Based on existing research, Leman Biotech has established the Meta 10 immune metabolic reprogramming technology platform and developed three pipelines: macromolecular drugs, cell therapies, and AI super factors. The company is currently focusing on cell therapy. "In the cell therapy field, we follow a three-step approach: first, we choose well-established targets like CD19 and BCMA and corresponding hematologic cancer indications to verify the platform's efficacy and safety; then, we pursue differentiated innovation by targeting indications with poor existing treatment outcomes, such as adult chronic B-cell lymphocytic leukemia and pediatric malignant hematologic tumors. Once validated in these indications, we will tackle more challenging hematologic cancers like acute myeloid leukemia. Meanwhile, we will also explore applications in solid tumors and autoimmune diseases," explained Dr. Guo.