OnQuality Secures its First Funding to lead China's 'Supportive Cancer Care' Scene
COVID-19 and China
New methods are changing the way we perceive cancer treatment. Image: Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Cancer killed over 10 million people globally in 2018, and it is set to cause the death of over 16 million in 2040. As we treat cancer using a variety of techniques from radiotherapy to immunotherapy the 'supportive cancer treatments' and cares are getting more significant: which are the treatments addressing the problems triggered by the cancer treatment itself. 

OnQuality (岸阔医药), a Shanghai-based drug developer focusing on Oncodermatology, undertook a Series A funding round worth USD 15 million with Matrix Partners (经纬中国), healthcare-focused VC BioTrack Capital (博远资本) and the Chinese Academy of Science subsidiary Cash Capital (国科嘉和).

A Series of Phase II clinical trials in the US will benefit from this flux of capital, according to the drug developer; the money will support the IND filings of multiple pre-clinical-stage projects as well.

Oncodermatology refers to the diagnosis, treatment and management of skin conditions that develop in patients undergoing cancer treatments. Awareness of its importance increases as we understand more about how such side effects negatively affect patients' willingness to carry on with the treatment. 

OnQuality aims to treat a side effect known as hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) in cancer patients. Since its establishment in May 2019, the company has set up two R&D offices in Shanghai and Seattle and initiated six clinical trial ‘pipelines.’ Three of those are in the early stages, and two are in the stage of IND filing in the US, according to the company. The most sophisticated Oncodermatology compound is being studied in the second phase of clinical trials in the United States, and patients have been recruited in multiple clinical experimental centers. 

The young drug developer is boasting of its founding team members, and it might well be justified in so doing. The Co-founder, Tang Hong (唐红), used to serve as the VP of Medical Affairs at Celgene-owned (CELG: NASDAQ) Juno Therapeutics and has over 20 years of experience in multinational drug-developers. Others include industry veterans who used to work for Novartis (NOVN: SVX) and Chinese CRO behemoth Wuxi AppTech (603259: SH). Matrix Partners, meanwhile, said to have followed the team since the time when OnQuality was only of five people, all brainstorming their next move.

Together with cardiovascular diseases, cancer is one of the first causes of death in China and the US. But the company's operation area is a very nascent scene that we do not have benchmark companies to assess. Yet, the Co-founder stated her "optimism" in the development of supportive cancer treatments in the near future.

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