Sino-American biotech firm RuiYi has received $4 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. RuiYi’s backers include 5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, Apposite Capital, SR One and Merck Serono Ventures.
LA JOLLA, Calif. and SHANGHAI, June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — RuiYi, Inc., a global therapeutic innovation leader, announced today the close of a $4 million debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank to advance a pipeline of novel monoclonal antibodies (mAb) targeting G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). RuiYi plans to file an IND and initiate clinical trials in multiple countries in 2015 for the company’s lead asset, RYI-008, a novel anti-IL-6 mAb for rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. RuiYi will also be advancing RYI-018 into preclinical studies. Identified via RuiYi’s iCAPSTM platform, RYI-018 is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody to cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB-1), a commercially validated but previously intractable drug target.
“This non-dilutive financing from Silicon Valley Bank will support multiple pipeline advancements, including moving RYI-018 through protein engineering for IND-enabling studies, bringing RYI-008 into clinical trials and discovering additional drug candidates from our iCAPS platform,” said Paul Grayson, president and CEO, RuiYi. “Drug discovery and development is, by nature, a cost-intense business. To develop innovative, new medicines that can help patients and also be accepted by payers around the world, we are conscientious about using our capital most efficiently.”
Lei Lu, Senior Vice President of Finance & Operations added, “We appreciate this additional funding mechanism SVB brought to us. With RuiYi’s strategy of controlled burn and development through regional partnering, this funding, together with the $15m Series B financing closed in March, 2014, provides the company significant additional runway. The key to a successful financing is generating the appropriate combination of equity financing and debt to reach substantial valuation inflection points. Silicon Valley Bank has been a vital part of this equation for multiple industries for decades.”
“Providing companies such as RuiYi with capital to get through key value creating corporate milestones is an important way for us to expand SVB’s relationship with our clients,” said Mike White, managing director, Silicon Valley Bank. “By developing novel therapeutics, RuiYi is a trailblazer in finding innovative ways to help patients around the world. We are pleased to provide RuiYi with additional financing flexibility so that they can bring new medicines to market with a capital efficient path.”
RuiYi’s first drug candidate, RYI-008, a novel anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody, has a unique pharmacologic profile with the potential to define a new paradigm in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Last year, RuiYi announced a collaboration with Genor BioPharma to develop the antibody in China. In addition, from iCAPS, RuiYi has identified another drug candidate, RYI-018 for peripheral disease, which is highly specific and selective to CB-1, a known therapeutically relevant and commercially validated GPCR target.
RuiYi’s iCAPS platform, the leading GPCR drug discovery platform, can isolate and present functional GPCRs in their correct confirmation to identify selective monoclonal antibody inhibitors or activators with great specificity for more effective therapeutics. GPCRs are a valuable class of drug targets but have been largely unexplored because of difficulty isolating GPCRs in the correct conformation and functional form, as well as finding drug candidates that have the necessary specificity for therapeutic intervention. RuiYi has developed a series of technologies, termed intermembranous Conformation Antigen Presenting System or iCAPS, that enable the presentation of purified, isolated, functional and conformationally correct GPCRs optimized for generation of antibodies and other biologic modulators.
RuiYi is focused on the discovery and development of novel biologic therapeutics that meet medical and commercial needs for China’s patients and healthcare system and that have the potential to be disruptive globally. In addition to RYI-008, RuiYi has a growing pipeline of monoclonal antibodies from it internal discovery efforts utilizing a series of the Company’s technologies, including the iCAPS (intramembranous Conformation Antigen Presenting System). Targets include a select subset of G protein coupled receptors (GPCR), where specificity in binding is critical but has proven difficult to achieve with small molecule modulators. RuiYi’s executive management team has offices in La Jolla, California, and RuiYi’s discovery efforts and research facility are located in in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong, Shanghai, China. For more, visit www.ruiyibio.com.
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