Biopharmaceutical firm NextCure Inc. has revealed that Quan Capital and Hillhouse Capital Management lead the investor roster as the company finishes its series B financial round. Additional series B investors backing the immunotherapy-focused Maryland company include ArrowMark Partners, Ping An Ventures, Surveyor Capital, Taiho Ventures, Bay City Capital and NS Investment. These new investors join NextCure’s existing investor line-up, including Pfizer, Canaan Partners, Lilly Asia Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments and Sofinnova Ventures, all of whom offered additional financing in this round.
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has also committed to a $15 million investment as part of a partnership with NextCure announced in early November. The multi-year collaboration between the two companies will focus on discovering and developing new and novel immune-oncology therapies. The $15 million equity investment made by Eli Lilly is in addition to a $25 million upfront payment that NextCure received as part of the deal. NextCure is also eligible for royalty payments should Eli Lilly be able to commercialize any new cancer treatments that come from the collaboration.
Michael Richman, CEO and president of NextCure, has announced that the proceeds raised in the company’s series B round will be used in part to fund the clinical development of their latest immunomedicine drug innovation, NC318. Some of the funds will also be used to spur further research and development of novel cancer targets via NextCure’s proprietary FIND-IO platform in conjunction with Eli Lilly.
Founded in 2015, NextCure has raised a total of $160 million in outside funding. The company is on track to file an investigational new drug application with the FDA for its NC318 treatment by the end of the year, with an IND expected to be filled for their NC410 immunotherapeutic aimed at blocking immune regulators expressed on suppressive antigen-presenting cell populations and T cells by 2019.
Simultaneous with their firms’ investments, Hillhouse Capital’s Michael Yi and Quan Capital’s Stella XU have become the latest members of NextCure’s board of directors.