WestGene raises $42m in mRNA focused Series A funding

WestGene Biopharma completed a $42 million funding round to advance its portfolio of tumor treatment vaccines in China and global trials.

Richard Daverman

June 27, 2023

2 Min Read
WestGene raises $42m in mRNA focused Series A funding
Image: DepositPhotos/ riverlim

WestGene Biopharma, a two-year old mRNA company, completed a $42 million funding round to advance its portfolio of tumor treatment vaccines in China and global trials.

The Chengdu, China-based company has started trials of its EBV-positive tumor mRNA therapeutic vaccine (EBV-mRNA) and liver cancer mRNA therapeutic vaccine (HBV-mRNA). WestGene was also singled out for its disruptive technology in a China competition. In addition, the company’s novel adjuvant was adopted for an XBB Covid-19 vaccine, which is now approved.

Earlier this year, WestGene’s mRNA technology platform was recognized in the 2022 National Disruptive Technology Innovation Competition Finals held by the Ministry of Science and Technology.


Image: DepositPhotos/

The company’s EBV project introduces three novel technologies to mRNA drug development: mRNA sequences, delivery vectors and amplified production. WestGene’s technology includes new UTR sequences and immune enhancers as well as a new LNP delivery technology based on novel structural lipids.

The company also claims it has developed a large-scale preparation technology suitable for a variety of mRNA delivery vectors. Its pipeline has 20 projects in development.

WestGene believes its tumor therapeutic mRNA vaccines solve the problems of poor efficacy and low immunogenicity of current candidates, producing high-efficiency, low-toxicity and inexpensive mRNA therapeutic products that improve the health of patients. The company says it does not know of any other company that has products as advanced as its own.

WestGene’s two general-purpose tumor treatment varieties (EBV-mRNA and HBV-mRNA) have begun clinical trials. A second novel adjuvant, a Mn adjuvant, is suitable for mRNA vaccines, the company believes.

Established in July 2021, WestGene was jointly founded by Professor Wei Yuquan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and chief scientist of the “973” project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Professor Song Xiangrong, the first domestic scientist engaged in mRNA technology research.

As one of the first scientists in China to conduct research in the field of mRNA, Prof. Song Xiangrong has been deeply involved in the field of mRNA for 10 years. When the company was formed, WestGene organized biology, pharmacy, immunology, computer-aided drug design, nanomedicine, bioinformatics, clinical experts and scholars in the fields of medicine and collaborative innovation who are committed to advance the R&D and underlying technology of mRNA drugs.

A version of this article was first published in ChinaBio Today on June 21, 2023 

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