Former unicorn Intarcia’s demise impacts Luxin Ventures

Chinese VC fund Luxin Venture Capital Group (SHA:600783) has written off to zero its entire investment in US biotech Intarcia Therapeutics following Intarcia’s second rejection from the US FDA for its long-term implant for type 2 diabetes earlier in 2020. Luxin previously invested USD 30 million in Intarcia via a funding round held in 2016, but is now writing off the entire investment and expects to report around RMB 140 million (USD 21.68 million) in losses in 2020.

The Boston, Massachusetts-based Intarcia, which was first set up in 1995, attracted over USD 1 billion in total investment for its long-term implant technology. The firm’s lead pipeline product is ITCA650, a formulation of the GLP-1 agonist exenatide designed to be steadily released inside patients over a six-month period through the firm’s matchstick-sized implants. Exenatide is usually administered daily or once per week. The investment round completed in 2016 gave Intarcia a valuation of USD 3.5 billion.

The first NDA filing was for ITCA650 was rejected by the FDA in September 2017, and a second filing met the same fate in March 2020. Intarcia has not filed for bankruptcy and aims to appeal the FDA’s decision. However, Luxin’s decision to pull its financial support from the company means that Intarcia is moving to hold an auction later this month to sell off laboratory and office equipment in an effort to remain operational.


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