Clinical-stage biotechnology firm Eccogene has raised $25.23m (CNY180m) in a Series B financing round to support the development of its clinical-stage metabolic pipeline.

Co-led by Zhangjiang Healthcare Venture Capital and New Alliance Capital, the financing round has seen participation from existing investors Qingsong Capital, Delos Capital and Oriza Seed Capital.

New investors Elikon Venture, YuFu Investment, Rockbleu Capital and Huajin Capital have also participated in the financing round.

Eccogene’s clinical pipeline includes a once daily, low-dose, small molecule GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA), ECC5004, designed for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity.

The therapy is being evaluated in a US Phase I clinical trial in T2D patients and healthy participants.

ECC4703 is a THRβ full agonist, now being assessed in a US Phase I trial in patients with elevated LDL and healthy participants. In preclinical trials, the therapy showed superiority over partial agonist MGL-3196 and robust efficacy in pre-clinical NASH [a form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that involves inflammation of the liver and liver damage, in addition to fat in the liver] and dyslipidemia models.

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ECC0509 is a peripherally distributed SSAO/VAP-1 inhibitor that is nearing completion of a Phase I clinical trial.

Eccogene also intends to use the proceeds from the financing to further advance its preclinical programmes to treat metabolic and immunological diseases.

Eccogene CEO Jingye Zhou stated: “We are thrilled that the series B financing enables us to advance clinical trials of a potentially best-in-class small molecule GLP-1RA to treat obesity, diabetes and related complications, and to further develop several highly differentiated assets for metabolic and immunological diseases.

“This financing brings us a step closer to providing clinical benefits to hundreds of millions of patients affected by obesity, T2D and NASH globally.”