Lion TCR Secures USD 40 million Series B2 Financing, Revolutionizing Solid Tumor Treatment with mRNA-Encoding TCR-T Cell Therapy

SINGAPORE and GUANGZHOU, China, June 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — 27 June 2023, Lion TCR, a clinical-stage T-cell immunotherapy company, is thrilled to announce the successful completion of its USD 40 million Series B2 financing round. Guangzhou Industrial Investment and Capital Operation Holding Group Ltd. led the financing with participation from Guangzhou Guoju Investment and CSPC NARD Capital Fund. The funds raised will be used primarily to support Lion TCR’s clinical trials on hepatitis B virus (HBV)-specific TCR T cell therapy, while also facilitating the construction of a state-of-the-art GMP facility in China. This momentous achievement will further accelerate the development of cutting-edge technology platforms and the advancement of Lion TCR’s product pipelines. 

During the 13th Meeting of the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council (referred to as "SGCC") on June 26, 2023, Lion TCR achieved a significant milestone by signing the Investment Agreement with the three strategic investors. This event took place in the presence of distinguished witnesses, including Singapore’s Minister for Health, Mr. Ong Ye Kung, and the Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr. Wang Wei Zhong.

Lion TCR signing an Investment Agreement at the 13th Meeting of the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council.
Lion TCR signing an Investment Agreement at the 13th Meeting of the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council.

About Lion TCR

Lion TCR has successfully obtained IND approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its international multi-center Phase 1b/2 IND clinical trial. Notably, this trial marks the world’s first FDA-approved international multi-center clinical trial utilizing TCR-T therapy for the treatment of HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma. The enrollment of patients has commenced, and several individuals are already undergoing treatment. Additionally, the investigational product has received Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA.

Lion TCR originated as a spin-off from A*STAR in Singapore in 2015 with the objective of advancing its groundbreaking HBV TCR-T cell therapy, a First-in-Class approach. This innovative therapy utilizes mRNA to encode HBV specific T cell receptors within patients’ T cells, enabling the targeting of HBV epitopes expressed in liver cancer cells. Encouragingly, clinical trials have demonstrated favorable safety and efficacy outcomes. Leveraging its established mRNA technology and TCR discovery platforms, Lion TCR has significantly broadened its repertoire of clinical targets, particularly those associated with solid tumors. The company’s expertise in these areas facilitates the delivery of autologous cell therapy and ‘off-the-shelf’ modalities. As a result, Lion TCR is poised to develop a robust pipeline of treatments targeting various solid cancers and chronic viral diseases, including chronic Hepatitis B, which is strongly linked to liver cancer.

Dr. Peng Xiaoming, CEO of Lion TCR, has expressed that the recent financing round will provide vital support for their product pipeline and international collaborations, with a primary goal of fostering a robust biotechnology ecosystem in Singapore and the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area. Lion TCR strives to become a beacon of excellence in the field of cell therapy, with a strong commitment to benefiting patients and society at large. As part of their strategic vision, in June 2022, Lion TCR entered into an agreement with the Huangpu District Government of Guangzhou to establish their Chinese headquarters in ChinaSingapore Guangzhou Knowledge City. This strategic move empowers the company to leverage Guangzhou’s resources and government support, thereby creating a comprehensive foundation for research, development, GMP production, and clinical trials. By covering the entire life cycle of cell product manufacturing, Lion TCR aims to effectively address the healthcare needs of Chinese patients, aligning with their mission of advancing innovative technologies for the betterment of patients worldwide. 

Lion TCR China Headquarters, International Biomedical Innovation Center.
Lion TCR China Headquarters, International Biomedical Innovation Center.

China-Singapore Smart Park at Guangzhou Knowledge City
China-Singapore Smart Park at Guangzhou Knowledge City

About Guangzhou Industrial Investment and Capital Operation Holding Group Ltd.

Guangzhou Industrial Investment and Capital Operation Holding Group Ltd. is a prominent holding group with a significant presence in the market. It holds controlling stakes in more than 10 listed companies, including notable entities such as Guangzhou Automobile Group and Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Group, along with leading enterprises like Yuexiu Enterprises (Holdings) Ltd. and Guoxin Securities Co., Ltd. The group has taken the lead in establishing and managing esteemed funds, such as the Guangzhou Industrial Investment Fund valued at 150 billion yuan and the Guangzhou Innovation Investment Fund valued at 50 billion yuan. With ownership of three fund management companies and collaboration with top institutions, it offers comprehensive fund investment services and has successfully launched over 50 funds. Guangzhou Industrial Investment and Capital Operation Holding Group Ltd. has consistently ranked among the "Top 500 Chinese Enterprises" and the "Top 500 Chinese Service Enterprises" for five consecutive years. It strives to create a globally recognized platform for market-oriented, professional, and internationally acclaimed state-owned capital investment and operations.

About Guangzhou Guoju Investment

Guangzhou Guoju Investment, a wholly-owned private equity fund subsidiary of Guangzhou Hi-Tech Investment Group Co., Ltd. (GHIC), effectively manages funds with a total asset value exceeding 3 billion yuan. Capitalizing on the synergistic potential of the "Biopharmaceutical Industry Fund," Guangzhou Guoju Investment  actively participates in the establishment of notable funds like the "China-Israel Phase II Fund" and the "Guangdong Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Fund." It has forged partnerships with esteemed investment institutions, including Jingwei Venture Capital (Beijing) Investment Management Consulting Co., Ltd., Sequoia Capital China, and Oriza Holdings. Dedicated to excellence, Guangzhou Guoju Investment  aspires to become a leading state-owned venture capital company in the biopharmaceutical industry of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area. Moreover, it aims to establish a renowned domestic market-oriented fund management institution.

About CSPC NARD Capital Fund

CSPC NARD Capital Fund, a pharmaceutical investment fund, is the result of a collaboration between CSPC Pharmaceutical Group and NARD Capital Fund. Its operations are managed by Shanghai Shi Feng Xin Hui Venture Capital Management Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of CSPC Pharmaceutical Group.

CSPC Pharmaceutical Group is an innovative enterprise at the national level, encompassing research, development, production, and sales of innovative pharmaceuticals. As a listed company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (01093.HK), it has achieved a remarkable market capitalization exceeding 100 billion RMB. The extensive product portfolio of CSPC Pharmaceutical Group is distributed in over 100 countries and regions globally, with 36 individual product varieties surpassing the sales milestone of 100 million yuan.

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