SHANGHAI, CHINA - Ark Biosciences ("Ark" for short), a biotech company developing proprietary therapeutics for respiratory viral diseases and viral hepatitis, announced today successful completion of a Series A financing, led by Qiming Venture Partners and Morningside Venture with participation by TF Capital.
"We are pleased to welcome our new investors, Qiming and Morningside Ventures, and to have the continued support from our current investor TF Capital for this round of financing," stated Dr Jim Z. Wu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ark. "This funding will provide financial support to our leading respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) clinical program and further development of our early R&D portfolio."
The proceeds from this financing will be primarily used to support continued clinical development of Ark’s leading RSV drug AK0529, now in phase I clinical trial, and multiple preclinical research and development programs targeting hepatitis B virus (HBV).
The phase I trial of Ark's compound for the treatment of RSV is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of orally administered AK0529 that evaluates safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple ascending doses.
"AK0529 was designed to be a first-in-disease drug candidate based on its excellent profile," said Dr Jim Z. Wu. "Since we licensed AK0529 from Roche last February, we completed all the data transfer and preclinical development work, and filed an IND within eight months. The drug was entered into a phase I clinical trial in a reputable clinical research unit last October. Based upon preclinical and existing clinical data, Ark believes AK0529 has the potential to become an effective first-line antiviral therapy for RSV infection in infants and the elderly. Currently, there is a no safe effective antiviral treatment available to treat RSV infection.
Dr Stephen Toovey, MD PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Ark, commented "There is an enormous need for new medications to treat the millions of pediatric and elderly patients who suffer RSV infection every year. In the completed phase I SAD study, AK0529 demonstrated an excellent safety profile. We look forward to reporting the phase I trial results in a due course."
With the development of AK0529, Ark aims to satisfy the extremely large unmet medical need posed by RSV.