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Senhwa Biosciences raises $17M in Series B to advance

Senhwa Biosciences, Inc. has raised an additional $17 million USD in a Series B financing to drive its anticancer agents through critical clinical trials. The Taiwan and San Diego, CA based company closed the round with participation from existing and new investors including H&Q Asia Pacific, Morningside and China Investment & Development Co., Ltd. Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the continuing development of its first-in-class anticancer agents CX-5461 and CX-4945 and take them through clinical proof-of-concept studies.

"Senhwa has made tremendous strides since its inception just one year ago. This round of funding will allow us to continue to advance and keeps us on course to open two new US-based Phase I and Phase II clinical trials during 2014," said Dr. Tai-Sen Soong, President of Senhwa Biosciences. "The level of commitment from new and existing investors reflects the quality of our assets, the confidence our investors have in our management team and it accelerates the development of Senhwa into a fully-fledged clinical development company."

Senhwa's lead anticancer compound for treating hematological malignancies is CX-5461, a p53 activating, Pol I inhibitor, currently in a Phase I clinical trial at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. CX-5461 has a unique mechanism of action that enables selective activation of p53 in tumor cells but not in normal healthy ones, destroying malignant tissue while sparing the patient from the serious side effects associated with cancer therapies.

Senhwa's CK2 inhibitor, CX-4945, is being developed for combination treatment in solid tumors with the commonly used chemotherapy agents gemcitabine and cisplatin. Pre-clinically, combination of CX-4945 with these DNA damaging agents has been shown to act synergistically to enhance the efficacy of these anticancer treatments.

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