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August 17, 2022

Bluejay raises funds to advance chronic hepatitis trials

Bluejay has two preclinical programmes to potentially lower HBsAg load and reconstitute antiviral immunity.

Bluejay Therapeutics has raised $41m in a Series B financing round to advance its programmes and clinical trials for treating chronic hepatitis B virus (CHBV) infections.

Arkin Bio Ventures led the funding round. 

Various new and current investors, including Synergenics, RiverVest Venture Partners, Yonjin Capital, Octagon Capital, and InnoPinnacle International, also took part in this round. 

With the funding, Synergenics chairman and CEO Dr William Rutter, Arkin Bio Ventures investment manager Dr Alon Lazarus, and Octagon Capital founder and chief investment officer Dr Ting Jia will join Bluejay as its board of directors.

A virology and liver disease-based firm, Bluejay has two advanced preclinical programmes to potentially lower HBsAg load and reconstitute antiviral immunity. It could become a functional cure for CHBV.

The programmes are BJT-778, a human anti-HBsAg monoclonal antibody, and an oral small molecule HBsAg inhibitor, BJT-574.

Proceeds from the funding round will be used to support BJT-778’s clinical development to show proof-of-concept in patients with CHBV. 

The company also plans to use the funds to progress BJT-574 into first-in-human trials.

BJT-778 showed to offer a quick decline in peripheral HBsAg in vivo in a mouse model of CHBV infection, indicating the enhanced potential to become a crucial element of CHBV curative treatments. 

BJT-574 is claimed to efficiently lower the production of HBsAg from HBV-infected hepatocytes. 

It could be combined with BJT-778 to become a new combination approach as a functional cure for CHBV.

Lazarus said: “In light of the recent developments and the exciting data in the field of HBV, we believe Bluejay is well positioned to contribute significantly in the pursuit of regimens that will generate functional cures in CHBV patients. 

“We look forward to generating clinical data soon and are excited to support Bluejay’s excellent team.”

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