Drug Farm Closes $56M USD Financing for Advancement of Lead Hepatitis B Drug into Clinical Trials
Drug Farm, a China and US based biotechnology company utilizing genetics and AI technologies to discover and develop innovative, immune-modulating therapies, has completed financing totaling $56 million USD. This funding will enable the Company to initiate human clinical trials with its lead drug DF-006, a first-in-class, orally bioavailable drug for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and other liver diseases. The financing will also be used to further advance Drug Farm’s additional pipeline candidates for therapies in cancer and autoimmune diseases. Drug Farm investors include BioVeda China Fund (BVCF), WuXi AppTec’s corporate venture fund, South China Venture Capital (SCVC), Detong Capital, and Zhejiang United Investment Group (ZUIG).
“Since the inception of Drug Farm, we have successfully leveraged our forward genetics technology, piggyBac transposon mutagenesis to discover new targets, connect them to diseases, and advance candidates toward clinical development,” said Dr. Tian Xu, founder and Chairman of Drug Farm. “Using our deep learning AI technology, we have been able to rapidly develop small molecule drugs against these targets, with an initial focus on HBV.”
Dr. Henri Lichenstein, CEO and Board Member of Drug Farm, commented, “HBV infection remains being a big unmet medical need worldwide. Despite the availability of several drugs that can decrease viral load, cure is seldom achieved. DF-006 is a new drug to treat HBV; we appreciate the commitment and confidence of Drug Farm’s investors for the financing enabling us to advance our candidate into clinical trials.”
Treatments aiming to obtain HBsAg and/or HBV cccDNA clearance will represent a real breakthrough in HBV therapy,” said Dr. Lishan Su, Drug Farm Scientific Advisory Board member and Director of Division of Virology, Pathogenesis, and Cancer of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “DF-006 represents an exciting new mechanistic approach to treat chronic HBV through modulation of the body’s own innate immunity.”