Bluejay Therapeutics raises $41 million in Series B round to drive clinical trials in chronic hepatitis
SAN MATEO, Calif., Aug. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bluejay Therapeutics announced today that it has closed a $41 million Series B round of finance led by Arkin Bio Ventures. This round includes participation from other new and existing investors including Synergenics LLC, RiverVest Venture Partners, Yonjin Capital, Octagon Capital and InnoPinnacle International.
Bluejay Therapeutic is a virology and liver disease-based company with two advanced preclinical programs that are focused on the reduction of HBsAg load and the reconstitution of antiviral immunity aiming to achieve a functional cure for chronic HBV infection (CHBV).
Funding from this round will support the clinical development of the lead program, BJT-778, a human anti-HBsAg monoclonal antibody, to demonstrate proof-of-concept in CHBV patients. It will also fund development of BJT-574, an orally bioavailable small molecule HBsAg inhibitor, into first-in-human clinical trials.
Within the last year, Bluejay has achieved a number of significant milestones including the initiation of the IND-enabling studies for the lead asset BJT-778. In addition, Bluejay strengthened its leadership by recruiting Dr. Nancy Shulman as Chief Medical Officer and further bolstered the clinical team with Carole Ann Moore and Dr. Simon Ducher as the heads of clinical operation and regulatory affairs, respectively.
With the completion of the Series B financing, Bluejay is welcoming Dr. William J. Rutter, the Chairman and CEO of Synergenics LLC, Dr. Alon Lazarus, Investment Manager at Arkin Bio Ventures and Dr.Ting Jia, founder and chief investment officer at Octagon Capital, to its board of directors.
“Bill and Alon’s extensive experience across therapeutic areas will be invaluable to Bluejay at this time of growth for our company. We are very excited to have them on the team," said Dr. Keting Chu, Founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bluejay Therapeutics.
“In light of the recent developments and the exciting data in the field of HBV, we believe Bluejay is well positioned to contribute significantly in the pursuit of regimens that will generate functional cures in CHBV patients. We look forward to generating clinical data soon and are excited to support Bluejay’s excellent team.” Said Dr. Alon Lazarus, Investment Manager at Arkin Bio Ventures.
“RiverVest looks forward to continuing our support of Keting’s fantastic team at Bluejay as we enter the clinic in an area of high unmet medical need. We welcome the expertise and thoughtfulness of our new Board members as we reach important clinical milestones,” said Dr. Nancy Hong, Managing Director at RiverVest.
About Bluejay’s Pipeline
Bluejay Therapeutics has two lead programs that are focused on the reduction of HBsAg load and the reconstitution of an antiviral immune response to achieve a functional cure for chronic HBV infection (CHBV). BJT-778, a best-in-class human anti-HBsAg monoclonal antibody, has demonstrated rapid depletion of peripheral HBsAg in vivo in a mouse model of chronic HBV infection showing great potential to be a critical component of CHBV curative therapies. BJT-574, a potential best-in-class oral small molecule HBsAg inhibitor, can effectively reduce HBsAg production from HBV-infected hepatocytes and is expected to be an effective partner for BJT-778 as a compelling new combination approach to a functional cure for CHBV.
About Bluejay Therapeutics
Bluejay Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of cures for infectious diseases. The company’s first target indication is chronic Hepatitis B, which remains a worldwide prevalent disease with urgent unmet medical need. BlueJay is advancing two innovative approaches with the potential for high rate of functional cure: best-in-class fully human IgG1 anti-HBs monoclonal antibodies and potential best-in-class HBsAg oral small molecule inhibitors. The company believes that by reducing hepatitis B surface antigen and restoring adaptive immunity a functional cure could be achieved for patients. For more information on BlueJay, please visit the company’s website at www.bluejaytx.com.