CorrectSequence Therapeutics (Correctseq), a pioneer gene editing biotechnology company, recently completed an angel round of financing of 40 million RMB (approximately USD 6 million). This round of financing is jointly led by Zoo Capital and New Alliance Capital, followed by Sequoia China and TF Capital.
Correctseq aims to use our innovative gene editing system to help people living with serious diseases. Correctseq will rely on the research platform jointly established by Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wuhan University to gather innovative scientific and technological talents, and provide more diversified, effective and affordable new therapies for patients with genetic diseases/rare diseases.
Correctseq were co-founded by four scientists in fields related to gene-editing therapy
Professor Jia Chen, Professor Li Yang of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Hao Yin of Medical Research Institute of Wuhan University and Professor Bei Yang of Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies co-founded Correctseq. The four scientists are focus on the frontier of gene editing field.
Dr. Jia Chen is an expert in DNA repair, gene editing and cancer biology. He is National Natural Science Foundation for Excellent Young Scholar, Pujiang Talent, youth backbone of Center for Excellence for Molecular Cell Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His studies were published in Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Trends Biochemistry, etc. He is one of the core inventors of the basic platform independent patent and mainly responsible for research and development of new gene editing tools.
Dr. Li Yang is an expert in computational biology, distinguished professor of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young, Ten Thousand Plan Leader Talent. His studies were published in Cell, Science, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Molecular Cell, Genome Research, etc. He is mainly responsible for the exploration of new gene therapy targets and safety verification of base editing tools within the genome-wide, and using big data analysis tools to provide technical guidance for the research and development of new pipeline.
Dr. Hao Yin is an expert in cell/gene therapy and drug delivery and a national overseas introduction high-level talent. He has been a researcher in well-known multinational pharmaceutical companies Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and his studies were published in Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery and other journals. He is mainly responsible for the delivery of base editing tools and clinical trial research.
Dr. Bei Yang is an expert in protein engineering and Pujiang Talent. Her studies were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Science Advances, etc. She is mainly responsible for researching the structure and function of key components in base editing tools, and improving editing efficiency and providing more possibilities for delivery through protein engineering methods.
Correctseq is a world-class base-editing start-up company
More than 75,000 genetic mutations are corelated with human diseases and around half of these diseases are caused by point mutations, which are hard to be fixed by traditional gene editing tools. Base editing technology of Correctseq can realize single base pair change in human genome in a precise and permanent manner. Thus, base editing technology provides great potential for the cure of hereditary diseases and the immunotherapy of cancer.
There are few international companies to commercialize base editing technology. Relying on the frontier of base editing field of scientific co-founders, Correctseq fills the gap of gene therapy using novel base editing systems in China. Correctseq has a number of base editing system independent patents, including an enhanced base editor with high product purity (enhanced BE, Cell Research, 2017), a Cpf1 base editor for efficient editing in A/T-rich regions of the genome (dCpf1-BE, Nature Biotechnology, 2018a), a universal base editor for efficient editing in G/C-rich and hypermethylated regions (hA3A-BE, Nature Biotechnology, 2018b) and the Cas12a base editor that does not activate the DNA damage response pathway (BEACON, Cell Reports, 2020), etc. Correctseq will use the intellectual property base-editing system to create novel disease therapies.
Zoo Capital partner Hu Haiqing said, “Professor Jia Chen and founders gave me a deep impressive in technical reserves, team complementarity, thinking for the future commercial path, we are optimistic about the development prospects of base editing technology, and is honored to be the company's earliest investors, and participate in the long-term future development of the company.”
New Alliance Capital said, “The rigorous, down-to-earth and dedicated spirit of Correctseq gave me a deep impression. We are very honored to participate in the first round of financing and have the opportunity to support the several young promising scientists in their effort to transform intellectual property base editing into industry. Looking forward to the transformation of the scientific research into disease therapies benefiting patients as soon as possible!”
Han Jiang, managing director of Sequoia China said, “Sequoia China has concerned about the frontier of biomedical innovation field, including gene therapy for a long time. We are very optimistic about the gene base editing start-ups with core independent intellectual property rights such as Correctseq. We think it has huge potential. At the same time, we believe that Correctseq can combine of industry, university, research and continue to innovate under the leadership of Dr. Jia Chen. In the future, Sequoia China will, as always, empower enterprises, support their continuous development, help the progress of gene therapy in China, and benefit the society.”
Dr. Lin Ni, senior partner of TF Capital, said, “the era of gene therapy is coming, and gene editing technology has shown positive effects in clinical phase I. With ~60% of human genetic diseases resulting from point mutations, the base editor can repair DNA precisely, promising to achieve higher editing efficiency and better safety compared with other existing gene editing technologies. Correctseq has fluent experience in base editing tool development, computational biology, protein engineering modification and drug delivery, with a basic patent portfolio of multiple base editors that promises to improve the editing efficiency and safety of existing base editing technologies. TF Capital is fortunate to cooperate with Correctseq to jointly promote the development of base editing therapies and strive to benefit Chinese patients as soon as possible.”
About Zoo Capital
Zoo Capital was founded by outstanding entrepreneurs and experienced investors in 2020, and was jointly initiated by Boyu Capital, a leading equity investment fund in China. The fund focuses on investing in outstanding early-stage startups in the fields of Internet and technology, emerging consumption, healthcare, etc., and is committed to finding entrepreneurs leading disruptive innovation and accompanying them to become the mainstay of the new economy.
About New Alliance Capital
Founded in August 2008, New Alliance Capital is a fund management company focused on private equity and venture capital. New Alliance Capital currently manages a number of funds with a total asset management of more than 10 billion yuan. New Alliance Capital's main investment targets include high-tech and healthcare fields, covering the early stage, growth period and maturity periods. Up to now, nearly 70 investments have been completed, including more than 20 enterprises IPO/listed at home and abroad, cultivating a number of industry leaders. The purpose of "growing together with great enterprises", together with profound industry experience, makes New Alliance Capital become a favored partner of investors and invested enterprises.
About Sequoia China
Sequoia China is always committed to helping entrepreneurs develop great companies, bringing rich global resources and valuable historical experience to its member enterprises. Over the past 48 years, Sequoia China has invested in many innovative companies and leaders in industrial trends. As an "entrepreneur behind entrepreneurs", Sequoia China focuses on investment opportunities in technology/media, healthcare, and consumer goods/services. Over the past 15 years, Sequoia China has invested in nearly 600 enterprises with distinctive technical characteristics, innovative business models, high growth and development potential.
About TF Capital
TF Capital is a fund focused on investments in the life sciences and healthcare industries. The management team has rich investment experience and pharmaceutical industry resources. The fund works closely with a number of well-known domestic R&D outsourcing service enterprises to explore the project sources, and provide the project evaluation and post-service. At the same time, the fund cooperates with multi-industry, capital and other high-quality resources to accelerate the growth of the invested enterprises from various aspects such as strategic management, technical support and regulatory consulting. At present, the fund has invested in nearly 80 enterprises, among which many companies have been listed at home and abroad.