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- Vitargent Biotechnology Announces Completion of Series B Financing Led by Nan Fung Group
Bio-testing technology targets global market and elevates product safety testing standards
Vitargent announces completion of Series B financing led by Nan Fung Group, while Nan Fung Group’s Chairman and CEO, Mr Antony Leung Kam-Chung, will join and chair Vitargent’s Business Advisory Committee.
In the photo (from left to right):
Mr. Jimmy Tao, CEO of Vitargent
Mr. Antony Leung Kam-Chung, Chairman and CEO of Nan Fung Group
Mr. Eric Chen, Founder and CCO of Vitargent
(Hong Kong, 26 May 2016) - Hong Kong company Vitargent (International) Biotechnology Ltd., developer of the world’s first transgenic medaka and zebrafish embryo toxicity testing technologies, has completed series B financing. Nan Fung Group is the lead investor, with participation from existing investors WI Harper and the company’s own management team. Vitargent will use the funds to grow its team, boost technological research and expand its markets. Nan Fung Group has actively supported the development of innovative technologies in Hong Kong in recent years. As well as funding Vitargent’s work, it will introduce the company’s bio-testing technologies to relevant projects it supports. The Group’s Chairman and CEO, Mr. Antony Leung Kam-Chung, will join and chair Vitargent’s Business Advisory Committee, and assist in establishing ties with relevant parties. His aim is to foster the first local biotech unicorn, and support Hong Kong’s development as a centre for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Vitargent will push to expand its overseas markets. It aims to license its technology in Europe, Mainland China and Taiwan this year, and to promote a comprehensive bio-testing system to raise safety testing standards for food, and cosmetics, among other products. Vitargent will also work with industry and non-governmental organisations to inform the public and boost awareness of bio-testing standards and product safety.
Nan Fung Group is dedicated to honouring its social responsibility and to supporting local tech start-ups, said Mr. Leung. “Food safety incidents have sparked public concern in recent years. Quality control and product safety have a direct and important bearing on people’s lives. Vitargent’s technologies can help companies and regulatory organisations to strengthen quality control and raise the bar for product safety”.
Vitargent CEO Mr. Jimmy Tao said the company’s transgenic medaka and zebrafish embryo toxicity testing technologies had already been adopted by top research organisations. “The team is excited about completing the latest round of financing and is ready to take its technologies global via licensing”, he said. “We are setting up Vitargent-authorised bio-testing laboratories overseas and aim to have them operational in Europe, mainland China and Taiwan later this year, to meet the demand of customers in those regions. To have Mr. Leung join our advisory committee as its Chairman gives us a shot in the arm as we expand our business worldwide. We are confident that our bio-testing technologies will be adopted by enterprises and government organisations that value quality”.
Mr. Eric Chen, Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Vitargent, indicated that to foster market and consumer acceptance of bio-tested products, Vitargent will partner with various information platforms and social organisations in order to publish information that educates the public about product testing and safety. The first market Vitargent will target is baby food, because its safety is of the utmost importance to parents. “We hope our test findings will be disclosed on parenting information platforms in mainland China to help satisfy the growing demand for product safety information among Chinese consumers”, said Mr. Chen.
Vitargent’s R&D laboratory was established at the Hong Kong Science Park in 2011. Its transgenic medaka and zebrafish embryo toxicity testing technologies, which can screen more than 1,000 toxins, have won the company many regional and international awards. When used in addition to traditional chemical testing methods, the company’s system significantly raises safety standards. Vitargent won the Grand Prix of the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in 2015. “We are delighted to see Vitargent’s outstanding achievements in gaining financing and expanding the applications of its technologies”, said Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP)’s Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Young Meng-Cheung. “Supported by HKSTP’s incubation programme, Vitargent has grown stronger by the day. We are not only proud of its development, but also encouraged to see the local innovation and technology sector prosper. We wish Vitargent continued success so that it may add glorious new chapters to the story of innovation and technology development in Hong Kong”.