Deals and Financings
Antengene, a three-year old Shanghai startup originally backed by Celgene, will conduct a Hong Kong IPO that is expected to raise $200 million (see story). Focused on oncology, Antengene has 12 projects in its portfolio, a mix of in-licensed drugs and in-house R&D that it expects to test as monotherapies and in combinations. Six of its assets have started clinical trials. Last month, the company completed a $97 million Series C financing. In 2018, Antengene announced a $162 million deal to develop four Karyopharm (NASDAQ:KPTI) assets in China.
Beijing’s BeiGene (NASDAQ:BGNE) [HK: 06160] acquired China rights to Bio-Thera’s Avastin® (bevacizumab) biosimilar in an agreement worth up to $165 million (see story). BeiGene will have the right to develop, manufacture and commercialize BAT1706 in greater China in return for upfront and milestone payments, plus royalties. China’s NMPA recently accepted Bio-Thera’s BLA filing for review of the biosimilar. Roche’s (OTCQX:RHHBY) Avastin is approved in China for non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Bio-Thera is located in Guangzhou.
Sinovent, a Suzhou clinical stage biologics company, raised $145 million in a Series C round led by Loyal Valley Innovation Capital. The company has 12 biologic products in development, four in clinical trials and another four molecules preparing to file INDs in China. Sinovent’s lead program is a Wnt pathway porcupine inhibitor aimed at cancers of the digestive system, including colon cancer, esophageal cancer and gastric cancer. Founded in 2016, Sinovent’s 12 research pipelines address needs in therapeutic areas that include oncology, central nervous system, autoimmune and infectious diseases.
Sihuan Pharma [HK: 0460] reported its innovative drug subsidiary, Xuanzhu Biopharma, completed a $116 million Series A round financing from SDIC. SDIC will own 18.6% of Xuanzhu, which is valued at $624 million. Sihuan said Xuanzhu is differentiated from other startups by having complete drug R&D capability along with the parent company’s production and commercialization support. The company has two candidates in late-stage trials: birociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor for advanced breast cancer and janagliflozin, an SGLT2 inhibitor for diabetes.
Connect Biopharma, a San Diego-Suzhou clinical-stage biopharma, closed a $115 million Series C financing led by RA Capital Management, a new investor. Connect focuses on developing immune modulating molecules for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The company’s proprietary Immune Modulation Technology Platform is a high-throughput screening platform built on the biology of T cell function. Connect says the platform identifies molecules that target clinically validated disease pathways more efficiently than traditional discovery techniques.
Dizai Pharma of Wuxi City raised $100 million in an A round led by Lilly Asia Ventures. Dizai was formed in 2017 with AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) assets that were left over after AstraZeneca closed its Shanghai R&D Center. It was founded as a JV between AstraZeneca and the China Future Industry Investment Fund (FIIF), which contributed $132.5 million for a 50% share. Now, Dizai is moving to Wuxi city, where it will be located next to AZN’s Wuxi Life Science Innovation Campus, an incubator with $1 billion in support for young companies.
ReViral Ltd., a London-North Carolina biopharma, closed a $44 million Series C financing led by China’s CR-CP Life Science Fund. ReViral is a clinical stage antiviral company with an initial focus on novel treatments for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Sisunatovir, the company’s lead product, is an orally administered fusion inhibitor currently in two global Phase II trials, one for pediatric patients and the other in adult stem-cell transplant patients. Jason Zhou MD, CEO and Managing Director of CR-CP Life Science Fund, will join ReViral’s Board of Directors.
Shenzhen Yuce Biological completed a $43 million Series C round led by Yuanzhi Science & Technology Medical for its clinical testing of cancer immunotherapies. Yuce Bio has developed a new antigen detection and identification platform, a professional database for cancer immunology based on bioinformatics, and a large real-world research database of tumor immunodiagnosis. As part of its program, Yuce has developed YuceOne Plus®, the first in vitro diagnostic reagent that uses gene testing to evaluate the effectiveness of an immunotherapy drug regimen.
HitGen [SHA:688222] of Chengdu announced it has delivered several small molecule leads to Almirall for a novel, undisclosed target, triggering an upfront payment. Almirall is a Spanish biopharma focused on products for skin diseases. HitGen, which granted exclusive rights to Almirall for further development and commercialization of the molecules, will be eligible for preclinical and clinical milestone payments from Almirall.
BeiGene acquired global rights (ex-China) to anti-COVID-19 antibodies developed by Beijing Singlomics (DanXu) Biopharma. BeiGene will develop, manufacture and commercialize DXP-593 and DXP-604 (plus a series of antibody sequences aimed at SARS-CoV-2) as treatments for the pandemic disease. DXP-593 and DXP-604 were identified by sequencing antigen-enriched B cells from over 60 convalescent patients. Singlomics will receive an upfront payment, regulatory/commercial milestones and royalties, though specific details were not disclosed.
Fosun Pharma (OTCPK:SFOSF) [SHA:600196] [HK:2196] and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) agreed to allocate 10 million doses of their partnered mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to Hong Kong and Macau, once the vaccine is approved (see story). In March, Fosun announced a $135 million agreement to partner the product in mainland China, though the announcement did not specify how many doses of the vaccine China would receive. Separately, BioNTech’s partner in the US, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), said it expects to submit results to the US FDA in October or November.
Sinovac Biotech (NASDAQ:SVA) of Beijing out-licensed rights in Indonesia to manufacture and market its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate to Bio Farma, Sinovac’s Indonesian partner. Sinovac will supply Bio Farm with bulk vaccine to produce at least 40 million doses of CoronaVac in Indonesia before March 2021, with enough additional vaccine to meet its needs for the rest of 2021. Bio Farma is currently conducting Sinovac’s Phase III clinical trial for CoronaVac in Indonesia. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.