The Korea Herald


Korean VC firms invest US$16m in UK biotech startup

By 박한나

Published : Oct. 14, 2016 - 17:36

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[THE INVESTOR] Four South Korean venture capital firms have decided to invest US$16 million in a UK-based cancer drug maker Celleron Therapeutics, according to sources on Oct. 14.

Korea Investment Partners will invest US$6 million while three others including NHN Investment will commit a total of US$10 million into the company developing personalized medicine for cancer patients.

The move marks the first time that Korean venture capital firms are funding a British biotech startup. 

As valuations of local biopharma companies have been growing at a rapid clip since last year, domestic investors are turning their eyes to foreign firms, especially those in the UK to benefits from the weak pound that has plunged after the Brexit vote.

Celleron Therapeutics, founded by professors at the University of Oxford, is expected to use the funds for phase 2 clinical trials of its personalized cancer treatment CXD101.

The phase 1 clinical trials showed that it has favorable safety and tolerability in the patients with advanced treatment-resistant aggressive disease, according to the firm.

If it completes the phase 2 clinical trials, a Korean pharmaceutical company which also invested in Celleron Therapeutics plans to enter into an exclusive partnership to commercialize the drug in East Asia.

By Park Han-na (