Today at General Catalyst, we are excited to announce that we are co-leading ArriVent Biopharma’s $155M Series B funding round with Sofinnova. Geographical silos sometimes limit patient access to innovative medicines. ArriVent is dedicated to accelerating the global development of innovative biopharmaceutical products. With a global network and a team of seasoned drug developers, ArriVent seeks to access differentiated and unique drug candidates at various development stages from biotech hubs around the world.
ArriVent’s co-founders—Dr. Bing Yao (CEO) and Dr. Stuart Lutzker (President of R&D, Chief Medical Officer)—started with the mission to develop innovative medicines for cancer patients regardless of where the drug was initially discovered. Throughout their careers, the team has overseen the development and launch of multiple FDA-approved drugs. Most recently, Dr. Yao was CEO of Vielo Bio. Under his leadership, UPLIZNA became the first and only FDA-approved B-cell-depleting humanized monoclonal antibody for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.1 As Senior Vice President, Head of Immuno-Oncology Franchise at AstraZeneca, Dr. Yao played a key leadership role in the approval of multiple novel biologics.2 Dr. Lutzker served as Vice President and Head of Oncology, Early Clinical Development at Genentech, where he led the early development of multiple now-approved oncology drugs including Kadcyla, Polivy, Venclexta, Cotellic and Tecentriq.
ArriVent leverages its deeply ingrained global biopharmaceutical networks to scout the globe for unique and novel, forging partnerships and closely interacting with health authorities worldwide. Under Chief Business Officer Dandan Dong’s leadership, the team has successfully in-licensed multiple oncology therapeutics, including furmonertinib, an oral, brain penetrant, EGFR mutation selective inhibitor, which was originally developed in China.3
ArriVent leverages the team’s scientific knowledge and broad experience in oncology drug development in their mission to identify first-in-class and/or best-in-class medicines with strong development potential, and to work seamlessly with scientific founders and their companies to bring these drugs to patients globally as quickly as possible.
This approach is exemplified by furmonertinib, an oral, brain penetrant, EGFR mutation selective inhibitor which received marketing authorization in China in March 2021.4 By partnering with Allist, the China-based biopharma that initially discovered and locally developed furmonertinib, ArriVent has the potential to accelerate global access to this innovative medicine. While the process of discovering and developing a new drug typically takes 14 years,5 ArriVent has initiated Phase 1b and Phase 3 trials of furmonertinib, which may drastically shorten the time to marketing authorization in the US and Europe.6 Furmonertinib has the potential to be a best-in-class, pan-EGFR mutant-specific targeted therapy for NSCLC, and we believe the ArriVent team is well-positioned to bring this therapy to patients around the world.
We believe that innovation knows no borders. With this funding, ArriVent intends to support additional studies of furmonertinib and continue to expand its pipeline. General Catalyst is grateful to support ArriVent’s mission to globally develop top biopharma innovations from around the world to deliver important medicines to patients.