RuiYi secures $15M in Series B funding round

March 27
7:24 PM 2014

Biotechnology firm RuiYi Inc obtained $15 million for its Series B financing round, a statement about the funding said.

Current investors provided the funding. They were 5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, Apposite Capital, GlaxoSmithKline's independent corporate healthcare venture capital fund One SR, Merck Serono Ventures and Aravis SA. Proceeds from the most recent round will be used for the continued development of its unique anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody (mAb) known as RYI-008. It will also be deployed towards discovering and developing new mAbs that would target G-Protein Coupled Receptors or GPCRs which are a valuable target class for therapeutic intervention but are as yet not fully explored because conventional drug discovery methods have not worked on them so far, the statement said.  

RuiYi President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Grayson said in a statement, "GPCRs are well-recognized to be relevant in human disease and are significant therapeutic targets, but traditional methods could not adequately explore GPCRs as drug targets, especially if the GPCR has a small extracellular domain. From RuiYi's iCAPS platform, we have been able to generate a fully functional antagonist to CB-1, a commercially validated GPCR target that could provide important therapeutic opportunities via a monoclonal antibody approach. With this support from our investors, we will advance RYI-018 through protein engineering for IND enabling studies."

With executive management offices in La Jolla, California and its discovery and research facility in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong, Shanghai, China, RuiYi's GPCR drug discovery platform known as iCAPS, is able to segregate and draw functional GPCRs correctly so they can correctly recognize selective antibody inhibitors to become therapeutically more effective. RYI-008, its first candidate, could possibly provide a new paradigm to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer. RuiYi is also working on RYI-018, another drug candidate, the statement said.

Together with the funding announcement, RuiYi also revealed that its leadership team has grown with two appointments: Erik Karrer, PhD is now the company's Chief Scientific Officer while Brian Campion, PhD is now the Vice President of Business Development, the statement said.

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