China Biotech Fundraising Tracker: Jan 2021
Writer: Minhua Chu
Editor: Howard Fields
In January 2021, PharmaDJ reviewed 23 venture capital fundraising deals of China biotech companies. Together, 18 of them reported deals that totaled more than $683 million USD. Two companies raised over $100 million USD alone: VISEN Pharmaceuticals and Abbisko Therapeutics.
VISEN: introduces Ascendis’s endocrinology drugs to China
Founded in 2018, VISEN was formed by Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND) and an investor syndicate led by Vivo Capital (along with participation by Sofinnova Investments), to develop and commercialize endocrinology therapies in Greater China.
The $150 million Series B financing that closed on Jan. 9 was led by Sequoia China with participation from OrbiMed, Sherpa Healthcare Partners, Cormorant, HBM Healthcare Investments, Pivotal bioVenture Partners China, Logos Capital and CDG Capital, as well as all of the existing investors, including Ascendis Pharma A/S, Vivo Capital and Sofinnova Investments.
Currently, VISEN has three endocrinology candidates: TransCon hGH (lonapegsomatropin), TransCon PTH (parathyroid hormone) and TransCon CNP (C-type natriuretic peptide), all licensed from Ascendis. The lead candidate, TransCon hGH, is in Phase 3 trial for childhood growth hormone deficiency, and TransCon CNP just got a permit to start phase 2 in achondroplasia patients in China.
Abbisko: focuses on small molecular oncology therapies
Founded in 2016, Abbisko is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline that includes in-house discovery and in-licensed innovative small-molecule compounds for targeted therapy and immune-oncology areas.
Source: Abbisko website
On January 8, Abbisko announced the completion of its Series D financing of $123 million USD. The investment was led by The Carlyle Group, with Warburg Pincus, OrbiMed, Lake Bleu Capital and a Boston-based investor as joint leading investors. Janchor Partners, Sage Partners, SHC, Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund and another strategic investor, as well as existing investors Lilly Asia Ventures, Temasek Holdings, Qiming Venture Partners, Hankang Capital and CICC Capital, which also joined. The proceeds from that round is be used to accelerate the progress of the company’s clinical programs and further expansion of its preclinical pipeline consisting of many programs in discovery for IND-enabling stages.