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NK CellTech Raises Over 100 Million CNY in Series A Financing Round, Becoming a Strong Dark Horse in the NK Cell Immunotherapy Field

NK CellTech recently announced the completion of a Series A financing round of over 100 million CNY, led by HUAGAI Capital and followed by CAS FOF, Unifortune Group, Chase Capital, Sirius Capital and Qiaojing Capital. The funds raised in this round will be used to accelerate the development and registration of multiple NK cell product pipelines.



NK CellTech was established by a core scientific team led by academician Zhigang Tian, focusing on the translation and development of innovative cellular drug technologies based on NK cells, and dedicated to provide more effective and safe means of precision immunotherapy for a wide range of cancer patients. in March 2020, with the strong support of Shanghai Government, Zhangjiang Administrative Committee and Zhangjiang Group, NK CellTech settled in Zhangjiang Cellular Industrial Park.


The company's founder, Zhigang Tian, is a flagship figure in the field of immunology in China. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and one of the 16 executive members of the International Union of Immunology. He has been recently elected as a member of Academia Europaea (Academy of Europe) in 2022 for his outstanding contributions to international clinical translational medicine.


Dr. Tian is also the Director of the Institute of Immunology and the Director of the Medical Center of the University of Science and Technology of China, the Chairman of the Biotherapy Committee of the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association and the President of the Tumor Immunology and Biotherapy Branch of the Chinese Society of Immunology. Dr. Tian and his team have over 30 years of experience in the research and application of NK cells, and are the first in the world to propose the clinical application value of allogeneic NK cells. The number of SCI articles and reviews published by the team with the keyword “NK cell” ranks first in the world in last 10 years. Dr. Tian and his team earns a solid foundation in NK cell biology and a high academic reputation globally. 


The company's co-founder, Dr. Xiao Weihua, has worked at Changchun Institute of Biological Products in the 1980s, then studied and worked at Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland Oncology Research Center and National Cancer Institute in the US for more than 10 years, and returned to China in 2004 as a professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Science and Technology of China and director of the Biomedical Engineering and Technology Research Center at CSU.

With the funding from Series A financing round, NK CellTech will continue to innovate the product pipeline, develop the core technologies, and enrich the team with more global industrial talents. 


Dr. Tian, the founder of NK CellTech, said: "Immunocellular drugs are the third era of biopharmaceuticals following small molecule drugs, large molecule durgs and nucleic acid drugs. NK cells are the "Natural Killer" for tumors, viruses, and ageing cells. NK cell therapies could greatly compensate for the shortage of CAR-T cell therapy and significantly break the ceiling of CAR-T cell therapy.


Dr. Xiao, the co-founder of NK CellTech, said: "NK CellTech is a biotech company established with more than 30 years of experience in the field of NK cell research and application. The company owns completely independent innovation, distinctive technology platform and gene-modified NK cell pipeline products, which provides the innovative source of immune cell therapy and leads the development of the industry.“


Zhang Yi, Managing Partner of Huagai Medical Early Stage Fund said:
“We continue to be bullish on innovative technology platforms in the cell therapy field, and NK cell therapy is a track that our team has been researching and focusing on, as NK cells are highly applicable with few side effects, which shows great potential for large-scaled clinical applications. Academician Tian Zhigang and his team have been working in the field of NK cells for decades and possess deep underlying scientific research and international forward-looking strategic vision. We are pleased to lead this round of investment in NK CELLTECH and are optimistic that NK CELLTECH will become a leading NK cell therapy company in China or even globally, and we will continue to support NK CELLTECH's multi-level pipeline advancement and future international layout, and work with NK CELLTECH to benefit the majority of cancer patients worldwide."  


About Huagai Capital
Huagai Capital is a private equity firm co-founded by a group of professionals from leading domestic and international investment institutions founded in 2012. Currently, the company manages approximately 20 billion CNY in assets. With the vision of "becoming the most trusted capital partner for entrepreneurs and investors", the firm focuses on private equity investments in two major fields: healthcare and technology, and is committed to promoting the growth of SMEs into industry leaders.


The CAS Fund of Funds (“CAS FOF”) is a major strategic arrangement decided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to implement the guiding principle of president Xi Jinping's speech during his inspection to the CAS. Aiming to support and promote the technology transfer within the CAS system, the CAS FOF is an exploration and practice of the new national mechanism in the field of scientific and technological innovation. The CAS FOF makes it its mission to solve the stranglehold problems in the core technological fields of China, and implements the innovation-driven development strategy. Relying on the profound scientific and technological resources of the CAS, the CAS FOF applies the investment mode of “FOF (fund of funds) + direct investment” to mainly invest in strategic emerging industries and such key stranglehold technologies as “key technology” and “green technology”, and takes “technology + finance” as the link to build a nationwide platform and investment system for the technology transfer, thus realizing the common improvement of the national strategy of innovation-driven development, social responsibilities and economic value.


About Unifortune Group

Unifortune Group, founded in 2011, is committed to become an integrated holding group by leading innovation with technology and serving the real economy. Adhering to the concept of "technology empowers finance, finance serves industry, industry services to the society", Unifortune has been deeply involved in China's economic development and industrial upgrading. Unifortune focuses on private equity investment, industrial investment, special opportunity investment and many other asset management businesses. Unifortune has a number of member companies like Unifortune Investment Fund Management Ltd, which focuses on medical & health, advanced manufacturing and new energy fields, and China Xinxing Asset Management Ltd.


About Nanjing Chase Capital
Founded in 2015, Chase Capital focuses on early and growing stage biopharmaceutical, technological and innovative investments in Nanjing and the Yangtze River region. The fund size is about 2 billion CNY. In biopharmaceutical field, Chase Capital has invested in a number of outstanding companies representing the future, including Ab&B Biotech, Biosion Inc, Nanjing Kati, Innovo Therapeutics, etc. In addition to capital assistance, Chase Capital is committed to helping and promoting growth and innovatioin of its portfolio companies on all fronts and at multiple levels, driving revolution on industry and society.


About Sirius Capital
Founded in 2015 by a group of professional investors with rich investment experience and excellent industry resources, Sirius Capital is a private venture capital firm focusing on the investment of technology innovative companies and is committed to identify the best entrepreneurs in China which type is "scientist + entrepreneur". Hard technology and life science are the key areas that Sirius Capital continues to focus on. Sirius Capital believes that NK CellTech will make outstanding contributions to the protection of human health in the frontier medical field of immune cell therapy by relying on its top international R&D strength.


About Qiaojing Capital
Founded in 2013, Qiaojing Capital is an angel incubation fund focused on healthcare investments, with particular interest on medical devices, biopharmaceuticals and innovative biotechnology. Qiaojing Capital always insists on value investment based on clinical needs in the medical field, and is committed to cultivating new medical technologies, providing better solutions for domestic clinics, and helping the development of human medical business.

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