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AIM-HI Portfolio Company Profile: Yiviva

Mr. Peikwen Cheng is Co-founder and CEO of Yiviva, a biotechnology start-up that develops first-in-class therapeutics. The company developed YIV906, an herbal mixture based on an 1,800-year-old Chinese formula.

A number of clinical studies show YIV906 reduces the harmful adverse side effects of chemotherapy and increases the efficacy of cancer therapies.

The results of these studies, together with years of research at the Yale School of Medicine, helped the company win the Innovation Award at the U.S.-China Health Summit in 2016.

Mr. Cheng previously co-founded WideRay/Qwikker, which distributed media, content and applications to mobile devices. For instance, his team created technology that helped rural healthcare workers in Uganda improve patient management and communicate with the central hospital instantly, versus a six-month lag.

Mr. Cheng holds a U.S. patent, and he received the 2002 Industrial Design Excellence Award by the Industrial Designers Society of America and BusinessWeek.

Based on the research of Yale Pharmacology Professor Yung-Chi Cheng, Ph.D., Yiviva develops botanical medicine-inspired therapeutics to treat chronic diseases and cancer. Dr. Cheng also serves as co-specialty chief editor of the Ethnopharmacology section of the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.

The National Foundation for Cancer Research has provided critical support since 1991 for research coming out of Dr. Cheng’s lab from early experiments and into clinical trials. And, more recently, the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund has been investing in Yiviva’s efforts to develop YIV906 into a cancer drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other nations’ regulatory bodies.

“We’ve had almost 200 patients use our cancer drug (906) in liver, pancreatic and colorectal cancer, and consequently, we’re seeing patients live longer with better quality of life and recover faster,” Peikwen Cheng says.

The Yiviva CEO adds that crucial funding from NFCR and AIM-HI have enabled an idea to see real patient outcomes.

“The mission of NFCR is not just to help with early stage funding of research, but now they’re helping us out with mid-stage to later stage,” he stresses. “We believe this funding will really help catalyze the future development of these ideas—especially the more breakthrough, out-of-the-box ideas such as ours, which sometimes need the help of a more visionary investor for support.”

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