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China's Lepu Medical, WuXi AppTec participate in Rgenix's $40M financing round

Privately held Rgenix, Inc. said it raised $40 million in a financing round led by Chinese healthcare technology company Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd.

Other investors that participated in New York-based Rgenix's so-called series C financing include Shanghai-based life sciences company WuXi AppTec Co. Ltd. and Hong Kong-based private equity firm Oceanpine Capital.

Rgenix's existing investors Novo Holdings A/S, Sofinnova Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, LLC and New York City Investment Fund Manager Inc. also participated in the financing round.

Rgenix said the money will fund the phase 1b/2 trials of its lead product candidate RGX-104, an immunotherapy for treating multiple cancers. The company said a phase 1a trial of the drug showed immune-response and anti-tumor activity in advanced cancer patients. Rgenix added that it is enrolling patients in the phase 1b trial in multiple cancer indications, including in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s Opdivo, or nivolumab.

Lepu Medical's Chairman and CEO Zhongjie Pu said, "as Lepu Medical has PD-1, PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors and an oncolytic virus in clinical trials, we also look forward to exploring possible collaborative opportunities with Rgenix as part of our goal to develop further in the oncology market together."

Rgenix also plans to use the funds to develop RGX-202, a therapy that suppresses the growth of gastrointestinal cancer by inhibiting a cancer metabolism pathway involved in supplying energy to cancer cells. The company plans to begin a phase 1 trial of RGX-202 this year.

The biopharmaceutical company will also use the funds for general corporate purposes.

Jefferies LLC acted as adviser to Rgenix in relation to the financing.