PT Etana Biotechnologies Indonesia (Etana), an Indonesian biopharmaceutical company, has secured a new round of investment led by DEG followed by Yunfeng Capital, HighLight Capital and East Ventures.

This round of financing will be used for further strengthening the company’s pipeline and portfolio especially in Oncology area to be drug substances manufacturing facilities, Etana said in a statement.

“Etana as an Indonesian biopharmaceutical start-up, always strive to provide high quality, affordable and innovative biopharmaceutical products to serve the patients in Indonesia and South-East Asian countries,” said Nathan Tirtana, President Director of Etana.

He said the firm will use the support obtained from the investors to develop local biopharmaceutical production capabilities in line with the policies promoted by the Indonesian government.

“Etana aims to tackle challenges in oncology and other life-threatening diseases for the South-East Asian market including vaccine,

“We believe these biological products can provide better treatment and greatly improve healthcare for the population,” he added.

Etana is committed to build production capacity for mammalian cell for monoclonal antibodies drug substance to ensure high local content production and technology capability.

Currently, the firm focuses on local biopharmaceutical production for mRNA platforms, proteins and monoclonal antibodies.

“As a development finance institution, DEG is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This also includes improving health care,

“By working with Etana, we are helping to ensure that people under privilige also have access to high-quality biopharmaceutical medicines and mRNA vaccines,” said Monika Beck, DEG Management Board member.

Dr. Huang Xiao, Managing Director of Yunfeng Fund, said that with the maturation of China’s innovative drug industries, the desire to expand coincide with the Southeast Asia market demand for superior biological medicinal products.

“Etana as Southeast Asia leading biopharma has the capabilities of vaccine manufacturing, local clinical and registration capabilities, and has formed its own sales force,

“We believe in Etana’s vision, led by Nathan, to be the leading Southeast Asia biopharma and vaccine manufacturing enterprise,” he added.

HighLight Capital Investment Team also said that the firm is excited to add on its initial investment in 2022 and continuously to support Etana which is led by a determined and seasoned founder Nathan.

“Etana’s outstanding capabilities in manufacturing and registering innovative biopharmaceutical products in Indonesia are well received by Chinese biopharma partners, including multiple HLC’s portfolio companies,

“HLC is devoted to bringing the breadth of our network and the depth of our expertise to advance Etana’s development in ASEAN and beyond,” it added.

Willson Cuaca, Co-Founder and Managing Partner East Ventures, said the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inadequacies of Indonesia’s healthcare system, hence urging all stakeholders in the ecosystem to bring quick and innovative solutions for tackling the crisis.

“Etana’s innovative products, including various vaccines, cancer drugs, and other biological products, has contributed to strengthening the resilience of the national health system, and we are glad to support Etana,

“We believe Etana is at the forefront in bringing high quality, affordable, and innovative biopharmaceutical products to the region, together with East Ventures taking an active role in empowering this space further,” he added.

Etana became the first pharmaceutical company in ASEAN to have mRNA technology.

MRNA technology is a flexible vaccine development platform so that it can respond quickly to the need for innovative and flexible biopharmaceutical products for cancer, vaccines, and others.

It takes a fairly short time in the development of a new vaccine with mRNA technology, the vaccine product is developed and ready to enter the Clinical Trial Phase at approximately two months.

Etana produces a Covid-19 vaccine with an mRNA platform, the mRNA vaccine has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (BPOM), a halal provision from the Indonesian Ulema Council’s (MUI) LPOM and a halal certificate from the Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH) of the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The firm will produce bevacizumab biosimilar, a recombinant humanized anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody drug for cancer patients in Indonesia.

The product itself has complied with the drug safety and efficacy standards set by the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (BPOM) on June 2022, both in terms of product quality and production processes.

In addition, Etana also produces Erythropoietin (EPO) that is needed in dialysis treatment.

Onward, the company plans to develop an adenovirus platform for vaccine production.

The production is intended to meet domestic needs and is planned to be exported to the ASEAN market and several other countries.

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