China Biotech Fundraising Tracker: Mar 2021
Writer: Minhua Chu
Editor: Justin Fischer
Fundraising for Chinese drug developers saw a significant uptick in March 2021, with 37 deals reported. Of the 37 deals reported, 34 disclosed deal amounts, which totaled $1.92 billion, a 68% increase from January. Six of these deals are valued at over $100 million. Three of them focus on the tumor therapies.
AffaMed's Series B Financing Oversubscribed
Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company AffaMed Therapeutics announced over $179 million in oversubscribed series B financing. Lake Bleu Capital was the lead investor in this round of funding. New investors also included Partners Investment, Superstring Capital, Orion Science Capital, and Fountainhead Partners. Founding investor CBC Group (formerly C-Bridge Capital), who initially committed funding to AffaMed in 2019, continued with its support as well.
AffaMed was founded to cooperate with Samsung Bioepis on the development and commercialization of drug candidates in Mainland China. Among them are third-wave biosimilar candidates SB11 and SB12, which reference Lucentis® (ranibizumab) and Soliris® (eculizumab), respectively, as well as SB3, a biosimilar candidate referencing Herceptin® (trastuzumab).
Starting in 2020, AffaMed introduced innovative candidates from more drug developers and now aims to build a global platform for developing therapeutics and solutions serving patients in Greater China and globally.
Just one day after series B financing concluded, AffaMed announced an agreement with ophthalmic company SIFI S.p.A. to develop, manufacture and commercialize innovative intraocular lenses (IOLs) in the Greater China market as well.
Brii Bio Concludes Series C Funding, Files IPO Application
Also in March, Brii Biosciences announced that it raised $155 million in series C financing. Invesco Developing Markets Fund was the lead investor. Significant additional funding also came from GIC (Singapore's sovereign wealth fund), Lake Bleu Capital, and an Asia-based leading investment organization, as well as three current investors.
One month later, Brii filed an application for an initial public offering (IPO) on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Founded in 2017, Brii’s treatment pipeline targets infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, AIDS, multi drug-resistant (MDR) infections, and tuberculosis. It is also seeking to develop treatments for central nervous system diseases.
In March 2020, Brii announced a partnership with Tsinghua University to develop COVID-19 antibodies. At the end of April 2021, the company said the antibody combination therapy, BRII-196 and BRII-198, met pre-specified safety and efficacy criteria, permitting continuation of Phase III of the ACTIV-2 trial as recommended by a DSMB composed of independent subject matter experts.