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Cargene Closes a US$19.2M Pre-A Round Led by BioTrack Capital

SINGAPORE and SHANGHAI and BOSTON, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cargene Biopharma Inc. (“Cargene”) announced today the close of an over-subscribed US$19.2 million pre-Series A funding round. The financing was led by BioTrack Capital, with participation from Hyfinity Investments, Legendstar Capital and other investors.

Cargene is a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing oligonucleotide therapeutics for cardiovascular, fibrotic and pulmonary diseases. With operations in Singapore, USA and China, Cargene aims to improve quality of life for millions of patients worldwide through clinically meaningful treatments generated from its proprietary platforms coupled with deep biology and chemistry insights.

Cargene’s OSCAR™ algorithm and SMoP™ pharmacophore design platforms work seamlessly together to enable rapid innovation of highly potent, specific and stable siRNAs against any target. The first programmes to leverage this synergic combination are cardiovascular disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). To tackle the most critical unmet need in NASH, Cargene has exclusively in-licensed regenerative medicine-related technology from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to reduce liver fibrosis in NASH patients. By inhibiting the targets, the technology has demonstrated the enhancement of liver regeneration in both acute and chronic liver disease models as well as human cell line assays.

The development of this technology was funded by the EVX-A*STAR PLATINUM Grant. This grant supports the co-creation of new biotech ventures such as Cargene with A*STAR, and facilitates the development of proof-of-concept R&D in therapeutic platform technologies originating from A*STAR. 

Cargene is also developing technologies for targeted delivery of oligonucleotides to a variety of organs and tissues, and novel nucleosides to boost pharmaceutical efficacy of the siRNAs. The proceeds from this round will be used to advance Cargene’s lead asset to investigational new drug (IND) application and accelerate the Company’s technology development.

Cargene was jointly founded by XQ Lin, Chairman and founder of EVX Ventures, Dr. Yann Chong Tan, a serial biotech entrepreneur who has co-founded a NASDAQ listed biotech company and Dr.Torsten Wuestefeld, principal investigator at A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore. Cargene has a scientific board of world-class scientists comprising Professors Harvey Lodish, Roger Foo, Kausik Ray, and Torsten Wuestefeld.

“Cargene reflects EVX’s philosophy to invest in technologies that redefine the therapeutics of tomorrow. The cross border scientific ecosystems that Cargene is built upon will help fully realize oligonucleotides’ therapeutic potential and create long-lasting and meaningful impact for patients worldwide,” said XQ Lin, Chairman & Founder of EVX Ventures and Chairman of Cargene.

Qinggang Zhuang, Executive Director of BioTrack Capital, said, “Oligonucleotide therapeutics is a focus area for BioTrack Capital. Cargene has a founding team comprising biotech serial entrepreneurs and world-class experts in nucleic acid chemistry. Leveraging the capabilities of Boston, Singapore and Shanghai, Cargene has established innovative platforms and proprietary siRNA delivery systems with exciting preliminary data.

“We are very glad to have the opportunity to lead this early fundraising round and look forward to working with the team to build a leading innovative oligonucleotide drug company.”

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