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MediLink Therapeutics closes US$70 million Series B financing

MediLink Therapeutics closes US$70 million Series B financing

SUZHOU, China, March 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — MediLink Therapeutics (Suzhou) Co., Ltd (MediLink) recently announced completion of a US$70 million Series B financing. This round was led by LYFE Capital and Qiming Venture Partners, and co-invested by Legend Capital, Loyal Valley Capital and Highlight Capital (HLC), etc. The new funding will support clinical development of MediLink’s new generation Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) pipeline, as well as early discovery and development of novel conjugated drugs.

LOGO for Suzhou Medilink Therapeutics
LOGO for Suzhou Medilink Therapeutics

A total of 14 ADC products have been approved globally after years of technology innovation in the ADC field. From the initial proof of concept in 2000 to the latest ADC products represented by Enhertu® and Trodelvy®, ADC technology has been advancing rapidly in recent years. In 2021, an article [1] published in Nature Reviews predicted that global sales for the marketed ADC products will exceed US$16.4 billion by 2026. A growing number of pharmaceutical companies have been shifting their R&D interests/focus to ADCs recently. According to Pharmcube database, the total BD transactions disclosed between 2019 and 2021 exceeded US$32.6 billion. As the competition is heating up, new and novel technologies in ADC biotech companies will play an important role to distinguish themselves in this area.

MediLink Therapeutics was established in 2020 by an experienced team with innovative ADC expertise and management skills. The company is committed to developing globally competitive conjugated drugs and building a differentiated proprietary ADC technology platform. MediLink focuses clinical drug development on unmet clinical needs, while establishing close collaborations with potential international partners. At present, the company has invented and patented several novel proprietary ADC linker-payload technologies. First program will start Phase I clinical trial in both China and the United States this year. In addition, the company has established collaboration with several partners using MediLink’s proprietary technology platform.

Dr. Tongtong Xue, Founder and CEO of MediLink said: “Over the past year, MediLink Therapeutics has focused on the development of the latest generation ADC technology platform. Thanks to the team’s innovation and execution capabilities, we have submitted the formal IND application of our first product to the FDA this month. 2022 will be a pivotal year for us as we move into the clinical phase. We are very fortunate to have brought new investors on board, while continuing to receive the unwavering support from existing investors. In the future, MediLink Therapeutics will focus on the development of internationally competitive conjugated drugs, as well as seeking to engage in collaboration with potential partners, accelerating global patients’ access to medicines that address unmet medical needs.”

Mr. Gang Chen, managing partner at LYFE Capital, lead investor of this round, said: “LYFE Capital has always been dedicated to seeking out innovation in the medical field in global, while providing value creation for top-performing medical companies with differentiated technologies. ADC is one of the segments to which we continuously pay attention. The vision and the execution of MediLink’s team, combined with its past profound accumulation in ADC technologies, has helped the company to establish a differentiated ADC technology platform with independent intellectual property rights in just over one year following its inception. We are very pleased to have collaboration with MediLink and help MediLink build and expand its international platform through our international network and industry resources. We firmly believe that MediLink will become a world-leading ADC technology platform company under the leadership of the founding team and the support of new and existing shareholders.”

Dr. Kan Chen, partner at Qiming Venture Partners, the joint lead investor of this round, said: “As an investor in the series A financing, we decided to also participate in this round as we believe that MediLink is uniquely positioned to excel in the international conjugated drug market. The MediLink’s team has a clear development strategy, solid technology accumulation and efficient execution ability. We witnessed the gradual transformation of MediLink into a biotech company with an internationally competitive ADC technology platform over the past year. We are honored to continue to support MediLink and hope the team will bring health and well-being to patients worldwide as soon as possible.”

About LYFE Capital
LYFE is a global healthcare investment firm and platform dedicated to amplification of healthcare through value creation. LYFE works with multi-stage companies with promising fast growth potential to provide capital and acceleration, allowing them to realize their maximum potential in a dynamic environment. With our team of extremely knowledgeable healthcare and investment professionals, we are able to work with flexibility pivoting our investment strategy to match each and every portfolio need. This had led us to invest across global markets with the goal of bridging the gap through value generation.

About Qiming Venture Partners
Founded in 2006, Qiming Venture Partners is a leading China venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Hong Kong, Seattle, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently Qiming Venture Partners manages ten US Dollar funds and six RMB funds with $6.2 billion in AUM capital raised. Since our establishment, we have invested in outstanding companies in the TMT and healthcare industries at the early and growth stages.

Qiming Venture Partners is a top-tier VC firm with outstanding reputation. Qiming has been widely recognized by investors from around the world and has become an ideal VC firm for entrepreneurs. With our exceptional investment performances, Qiming has won multiple world-renowned venture capital awards.

About Legend Capital
In April 2001, Legend Capital was established as a fund manager under Legend Holdings, focusing on early-stage VC and growth-stage PE investment. Since its founding, Legend Capital has adhered to internationally accepted standards to create best practices in fund management and operation. With a proven track record of more than 20 years, the firm now has full experience in all aspects of fund management and operation and has built an extensive partner ecosystem across the entire investment chain.

Legend Capital goes the extra mile in delivering proactive value-added services to help portfolio companies drive innovation. Legend Capital is committed to promoting China’s industrial progress and social development, while securing high returns across multiple sectors.

About Loyal Valley Capital
Loyal Valley Capital (LVC) is a thematic, research-driven private equity firm focused on deep fundamental research and unlocking value through post-investment value-creation. LVC manages capital on behalf of a geographically diversified group of long-term institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, private banks, family offices, and fund of funds managers, from across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

About Highlight Capital (HLC)
HLC (HighLight Capital) is an investment company with a mission to promote technology innovations based on deep scientific and industrial insights. We focus on enabling high growth sectors such as healthcare, biotech and consumer, and we strive to create long-term value and deliver life wellness.

HLC currently manages RMB & USD funds, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen.

As of today, HLC has invested in over 90 leading companies. More than 20 of them have been listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, including Mindray, Wuxi Apptec, Tigermed, Pharmaron, United Imaging, Brightgene, Sansure, General Healthy, Genetron, Zentalis, Singular, Smoore, Nayuki and more.

Contact: Lei Yang, Email: lei.yang@medilinkthera.com

Reference:
[1] do Pazo C, Nawaz K, Webster RM. The oncology market for antibody-drug conjugates. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2021 Aug;20(8):583-584. doi: 10.1038/d41573-021-00054-2. PMID: 33762691.

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