- Founded by Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital, and Vivo Capital to support the development of an ecosystem for rare disease patients in China
- Company will develop and deliver rare disease drugs targeting Chinese patients
- Company will leverage clinical trials in China to accelerate global drug development for rare disease treatments
(Shanghai/Boston) Citrine Medicine, a rare disease-focused therapeutics company founded by Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital, and Vivo Capital, raised $80 million in Series A funding. The financing was led by Quan Capital, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm. 3H Health Investment and WU Capital also participated in this round along with the three founding investors. The therapeutic platform plans to deliver rare disease drugs to the China market and develop the first ever rare disease ecosystem in the country, with the prospect of helping tens of millions of patients.
China represents a significantly large untapped market for rare disease medications. The total patient population suffering from rare diseases in China is estimated to be approximately 20 million, but diagnosis and treatment options are currently limited for those in need.
Since its launch in 2019, Citrine has assembled a best-in-class team of veterans with decades of work experience in rare diseases and the healthcare market in China.
Rebecca Lin, Partner of Eight Roads and a member of Citrine’s Board of Directors, said: “Citrine is dedicated to bringing in safe and effective medications to patients in China suffering from rare diseases. Our aspiration is to build an ecosystem of support for the patients, working together with various stakeholders to fundamentally remove the accessibility and affordability obstacles.”
Recent regulatory reforms and policy changes in China allow for an expedited drug approval pathway for rare disease drugs. Orphan drugs can now be approved in China with overseas clinical data. Citrine looks to focus on validated medications while at the same time helping products speed up their development processes globally.
Dr. Dandan Dong, Managing Director of Vivo Capital stated: “Our mission and vision at Vivo is to invest in companies that improve the lives of patients world-wide. Investing in Citrine as a co- founder is an extension of that belief, primarily due to the unmet demand for patients with rare diseases. We could not be more delighted to join Citrine in this journey of hopefully providing access to a new drug for patients with rare diseases.”
Ms. Lin added: “Eight Roads has a strong track record in venture formation. For the past decade, we have been active in building a comprehensive healthcare ecosystem in China covering therapeutics, med tech, services and digital solutions. Citrine is a unique platform which can leverage the resources of all investors and benefits from the synergy of this extensive network, including Eight Roads’ global resources and connections. We believe Citrine is well-positioned to build something meaningful for the rare disease community.”
F-Prime’s Principal, Dr. Chong Xu provides a few words associated with his investment: “F-Prime Capital is a strong believer and long-time investor in companies developing drugs for orphan disease patients in need. We helped found Citrine because we were excited about the potential for the company to significantly improve the lives of patients and families in China affected by rare diseases. We are pleased to welcome this exceptional group of investors to join forces and support Citrine’s efforts in their important mission to bring important rare disease therapies to Chinese patients, while also accelerating the rare disease drug development process more broadly.”
Dr. Marietta Wu, Managing Director of Quan Capital said: “We are pleased to lead the Series A round of Citrine and are excited to join its founding investors to offer life changing innovative therapeutics to patients with rare diseases in China. Quan Capital has an ongoing commitment to bring new solutions to patients with great unmet needs, and we look forward to contributing talents and local operational resources as well as product partnerships from overseas to further strengthen the company’s capabilities and pipeline. With the strong support from the investors, we are confident that Citrine is well-positioned to be a leader in the space to accelerate the development of new medicines in rare diseases in China and globally.”
Dr. Minchuan Wang, Partner of 3H Health Investment commented: “This venture investment reflects our mission to invest in medical innovation that can drastically improve lives of patients. We are excited to partner with founding investors and Quan to bring novel drugs to patients in China, and also to pool in our China expertise and local network to support Citrine's growth into next stage. We are confident that Citrine is paving the way to a new standard in rare disease treatment in China.”