Eluminex Biosciences, an Ophthalmology-Focused Biotechnology Company, Announces Closing of $50 Million Series A Financing

  • Proceeds to fund development of novel and best-in-class therapeutics for eye diseases
  • Charles Semba, MD, joins the company to serve as Chief Medical Officer

SHANGHAI, Nov. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Eluminex Biosciences Limited (Eluminex), an ophthalmic biotechnology company committed to the discovery and development of first-in-class and/or best-in-class therapies, today announced the completion of a $50 million (USD) Series A Financing co-led by Lilly Asia Ventures, GL Ventures (venture capital arm of Hillhouse Capital), and Quan Capital. The Eluminex headquarters and research and development center are located in Suzhou Industrial Park; the business center is based in Shanghai, and future plans include establishing a global clinical and registration center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"We greatly appreciate the profound level of support and trust from three global investors," said Jinzhong Zhang, PhD, Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. "With these proceeds, our goal is to build an innovative pipeline addressing critical unmet medical needs in vision-threatening diseases for patients worldwide. Additionally, we are pleased to have three world-renowned professors of ophthalmology as members of our Scientific Advisory Board: Quan Dong Nguyen, MD, MSc (Stanford University), Zuguo Liu, MD, PhD (Xiamen University), and Xiaodong Sun, MD, PhD (Shanghai Jiao Tong University). We are grateful for their significant contributions in helping us develop our pipeline programs."

The company also announced that Charles Semba, MD, has joined Eluminex as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Semba is an internationally recognized leader in ophthalmic drug development. He has served as CMO in three prior ophthalmic companies: SARcode Bioscience (acquired by Shire/Takeda), ForSight VISION5 (acquired by Allergan), and Graybug Vision (NASDAQ: GRAY). He has held senior leadership roles as Vice President Ophthalmic Medicine at Shire/Takeda and Ophthalmology Group Head at Genentech. Dr. Semba led the clinical development of ranibizumab (LUCENTIS®), the first global blockbuster anti-VEGF agent to reverse blindness in wet age-related macular degeneration and lifitegrast (XIIDRA®), the first novel agent for the treatment of both signs and symptoms of dry eye disease; XIIDRA® was acquired by Novartis for over $5 billion (USD).

Regarding the success of this financing, all parties have expressed their confidence and expectations for the new company. "Closing Series A financing is indeed a major milestone. The leadership at Eluminex should be congratulated for this impressive achievement amidst current global events," commented Dr. Nguyen, Professor of Ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University. "Such financial success and security demonstrate the trusts that the company has earned from the investment community in Eluminex's research and development therapeutic plans to preserve and enhance vision for patients with devastating ocular diseases worldwide."

"Driven by an aging population and overuse of eyes in various ages, the ophthalmic market is seeing huge unmet needs for new products. The team's solid track record and rich experience in ophthalmic drug development enables the company to develop innovative therapies not only for China but also for the global market. We are thrilled and honored to join hands with this seasoned team and partner with the reputable investors from the very beginning," said Stephen Lin, Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures.

"The founding team of Eluminex Biosciences has rich experience in drug development and innovation with great potential in the future. Hillhouse will help Eluminex continue to innovate, research and develop leading ophthalmic disease treatment drugs, meeting the needs of a large number of patients, and continue to create social well-being," said Michael Yi, Partner and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Hillhouse Capital Group.

"Quan Capital is committed to foster innovation and bring new solutions to patients with great unmet needs. We are pleased to co-lead the Series A round of Eluminex and are truly impressed by the stellar management team," said Marietta Wu, Managing Director of Quan Capital. "We believe this team of seasoned industry veterans both globally and in China will build a leader in ophthalmology with accelerated development of novel therapeutics. Quan looks forward to working closely with the team and contributing our local resources and global networks."

About Eluminex Biosciences

Eluminex was established in February 2020 with the commitment to leading the development of novel therapeutics for the benefit of patients with vision-threatening eye diseases worldwide. Co-Founders, Dr. Jinzhong Zhang and Dr. Zhenze John Hu, have assembled a top tier management team with significant ophthalmic drug development experience, aiming to build a robust and sustainable innovative ophthalmic pipeline to tackle the unmet clinical needs. For detailed information contact Zhenze John Hu at john.hu@eluminexbio.com

About Lilly Ventures Asia

Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) is a leading biomedical venture capital firm founded in 2008, with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Menlo Park. LAV's vision is to become the trusted partner for exceptional entrepreneurs seeking smart capital and to build great companies developing breakthrough products that can treat diseases and improve human health. For more information, visit www.lillyasiaventures.com.   

About GL Ventures

GL Ventures focuses on early-stage innovative companies in healthcare, software services, consumer Internet, emerging consumer brands and services. The GL Ventures team is passionate about partnering with visionary entrepreneurs to create industry leaders that stand the test of time. GL Ventures is the early stage affiliate of Hillhouse Capital, and we have been investing with innovators across the world since 2005. We were one of the earliest investors into some of the largest global companies today, including BeiGene, Zoom, Meituan, JD, Woowa Brothers and many more.

About Quan Capital

Quan Capital (Quan) is a life sciences venture capital firm with strong China expertise and global capabilities. Quan discovers, incubates, and grows next-generation life science companies in early and growth stage, worldwide. Their portfolio companies pioneer differentiated therapies and enabling technologies to address major human diseases with high unmet medical needs. With offices in Shanghai, Palo Alto and Boston, Quan's investment professionals combine their strong expertise in both science and business with their diverse experiences in global drug development and healthcare investments, and leverage their broad network worldwide to help maximize the company's value across geographies and development stages. For more information, visit www.quancapital.com.

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