Ascletis’ Strategic Partner 3-V Biosciences Announced its Name Change and Financing Status

3-V Biosciences Changes Name to Sagimet Biosciences and Closes $25 Million Financing -- Name connotes expertise in fatty acid metabolism and therapeutic focus targeting dysfunctional metabolic pathways

SAN MATEO, Calif., Aug. 5, 2019 -- 3-V Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, announced today that it has changed its name to Sagimet Biosciences and closed a second tranche of its Series E financing, which now totals $25 million.

Sagimet's lead product candidate, the FASN inhibitor TVB-2640, is currently in a global Phase 2 trial in USA and China for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with top-line results expected in mid-2020. The company's unique expertise in the enzyme fatty acid synthase (FASN) enables development of novel therapeutics to treat important diseases such as NASH and various cancers.

"Our new company name, Sagimet, connotes our unique expertise in fatty acid metabolism and its application in the liver disease, NASH," said George Kemble, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer. "This current focus on NASH leverages our team's expertise in ground-breaking inhibitors of FASN developed in-house. We are also excited to continue our research efforts in cancer and to explore other diseases where fatty acid metabolism plays a role, such acne and drug-induced fatty liver."

Sagimet is derived from a combination of Sagitta and metabolism. In Greek mythology, Sagitta is the arrow used to stop the eagle sent by Zeus to perpetually gnaw on Prometheus' liver (as punishment for gifting fire to humans). Sagimet's therapeutic focus targets dysfunctional metabolic pathways.

Alongside the name change, Sagimet raised a total of $25 million in its Series E financing, led by Ascletis Pharma Inc (Ascletis, 1672.HK) through its subsidiary, including $18 million funded initially in February 2019. All prior Series E investors participated in this second tranche financing, including Ascletis, Qianhai Ark (Cayman) Investment Co. Limited, Kleiner Perkins, and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). 

"NEA is excited to continue supporting Sagimet, especially given the significant unmet need in metabolic diseases of liver and the promise of the FASN mechanism," said David Mott, General Partner, NEA, and Chairman of the Sagimet Board of Directors. "We look forward to the Phase 2 results with TVB-2640 in NASH and remain inspired by the excellence of our management team."

"We are excited to lead the Series E financing, along with renowned investors," said Jinzi J. Wu, PhD, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ascletis. "Sagimet's expertise and efforts have resulted in first-in-class, clinical-stage drug candidates to treat NASH and cancers. As both an investor and partner, the Ascletis team is working side-by-side with Sagimet's scientists to move forward this promising class of drug candidates."