LONDON: RTW Venture Fund Limited, a London Stock Exchange-listed investment fund focused on identifying transformative assets with high growth potential across the life sciences sector, notes the announcement by LENZ Therapeutics (LENZ) that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Ji Xing Pharmaceuticals (JIXING) to develop and commercialize LNZ100 (aceclidine) and LNZ101 (aceclidine + brimonidine) for the treatment of presbyopia in Greater China. RTW Investments, LP invests $10 million in LENZ.
The Company, alongside other investment vehicle managed by the Investment Manager, confirms it participated in funding of LENZ.
LENZ is a privately-held late-stage clinical company developing innovative ophthalmic pharmaceutical products that improve vision. Its lead programs, LNZ100 and LNZ101, are aceclidine-based eye drops designed to restore the loss of near vision associated with presbyopia. Presbyopia is estimated to impact almost two billion people globally and more than 120 million people in the United States.
JIXING is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Shanghai committed to bringing innovative science and medicines to underserved patients in China with serious and life-threatening diseases. Backed by the Investment Manager, JIXING was founded in 2019 and partners with global biotechnology companies to develop and commercialize novel, innovative therapeutics to treat unmet medical needs in cardiovascular and ophthalmic diseases.
With a strong and further developing asset pipeline, seasoned management team, and patient-centric focus, JIXING is dedicated to delivering a meaningful and lasting impact on patients in Greater China.
Under the licensing agreement, LENZ will receive $15 million in upfront payments and may receive up to $95 million in additional payments, based on various prescribed development, regulatory and commercial milestones as well as royalty payments based on future net sales.
“We are excited to work with pioneering companies like LENZ to advance medical innovation in the field of ophthalmology to benefit more patients around the world,” said Roderick Wong, MD, Chairman of JIXING and Managing Partner of RTW. “Through this strategic alliance, we look forward to assisting LENZ in expanding its global reach.”
“Age-related ophthalmic diseases are a growing challenge in China, with an estimated 440 million patients suffering from presbyopia,” said Joseph Romanelli, CEO of JIXING.
“We have built a portfolio in presbyopia and dry eye disease and will continue to expand into more critical ophthalmic disease areas. Our goal is to bring disruptive science to help improve upon the standard of care for patients in China. Today’s collaboration with LENZ is another milestone in fulfilling that commitment.”
The Investment Manager is looking forward to growing the Company’s investment pipeline and updating shareholders on further investments by the Company in due course.
RTW Venture Fund Limited (LSE: RTW & RTWG) is an investment fund focused on identifying transformative assets with high growth potential across the life sciences sector. Driven by a long-term approach to support innovative businesses, RTW Venture Fund invests in companies developing next-generation therapies and technologies that can significantly improve patients’ lives.
RTW Venture Fund Limited is managed by RTW Investments, LP, a leading healthcare-focused entrepreneurial investment firm with deep scientific expertise and a strong track record of supporting companies developing life-changing therapies.