MingSight Completes a New Round of Financing to Accelerate Clinical Development in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Diabetic Macular Edema

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MingSight Pharmaceuticals announced today the close of a pre-Series B round of $20M, led by Kaitai Capital. The proceeds will be used for the clinical development of MS-553, a new generation inhibitor of protein kinase C (PKC) beta for the treatment of Chronic lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME).

We greatly appreciate the trust and support of our investors,” said Kai Zhang, MD, MBA, CEO and Co-founder of MingSight. “This investment will facilitate the rapid development of the MS-553 program. We are very excited to see MS-553 demonstrate strong efficacy and safety data in our CLL and DME trials. We will work hard to bring forward a truly differentiated product to market to improve upon the treatment options for these serious diseases.”

Michael Niesman, Ph.D., CSO and Co-founder of MingSight, said: “We are very glad that our investors share our excitement about the promise of MS-553. Many companies have been convinced of the importance of Protein Kinase C (PKC) in serious diseases like CLL and diabetic eye disease. Because of the major innovations of MS-553 compared to previous pan-PKC inhibitors, we have been able to generate data demonstrating proof of mechanism and significant activity in CLL and DME where other PKC inhibitors have failed. We look forward to working with Kaitai and our other investors to accelerate the development of this unique compound.”

Zehua Huang, Partner at Kaitai Capital, said: “We believe MingSight has a world class team and advisory group, and its program is well positioned for the future marketplace. With initial efficacy in CLL patients with C481S and PLCG2 mutations, MS-553 showed distinct promise of its market potential. MS-553 has the potential to improve upon the standard of care therapies for CLL as a single agent or in combination with BTK inhibitors, BCL-2 inhibitors, or other agents. As for its application in DME treatment, MS-553 has the potential to provide an alternative, non-invasive approach to ocular injections of anti-VEGF agents. A key characteristic of MS-553 is its preferential distribution to the retina following oral administration. The initial clinical data of MS-553 in DME patients such as BCVA and CRT readings are very impressive. We are confident that MingSight will succeed in rapidly developing MS-553 and bringing its benefits to patients worldwide.”

About MS-553

MS-553 is an investigational drug candidate and a new generation PKC beta inhibitor. It differentiates from the previous generation of pan-PKC inhibitors with its novel chemotype and significant advantages in selectivity, safety, and PK properties.

MS-553 is a potentially the only B-cell receptor inhibitor in clinical development that can address the BTK resistant mutations in both BTK and PLCG2. Its mechanism of action is also synergistic or additive to other approaches that constitute the current standard of care of CLL.

MS-553 also has the potential, if approved, to become the first oral DME therapy with anti-VEGF like efficacy. MS-553 has the unique PK property of preferential distribution to the retina and its mechanism of action addresses both the aberrant VEGF signaling and the inflammation that are characteristics of DME.

In a phase 1/2 study, MS-553 demonstrated promising efficacy and safety in CLL patients who have failed BTK inhibitors including those with C481S and PLCG2 resistant mutations. MS-553 also demonstrated clinical activities including reduction of retinal thickness and improvement of visual acuity in a phase 1b trial of DME patients.

About MingSight Pharmaceuticals

MingSight is a clinical stage company focused on developing differentiated, novel therapies for serious diseases including B-cell malignancies, diabetic macular edema, and autoimmune diseases. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California, USA.

About Kaitai Capital

Kaitai Capital was established in 2009. It mainly invests in biomedicine and life sciences, artificial intelligence and digital technology, community innovation and high-tech consumption. With a global vision, forward-looking industry research and industrial ecological investment concepts in the fields of biomedicine and life sciences, Kaitai Capital has invested in nearly 100 biomedical and life science companies at home and abroad and has initially formed an ecological industrial chain. In the fields of oncology, autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases, anti-infection, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neuroscience, nephropathy, ophthalmology, skin, gene therapy and cell medicine, pharmaceutical industry, innovative biotechnology and massive health industry, an ecological investment portfolio has been constructed.


Kai Zhang

MingSight Pharmaceuticals