Just a few months after inking a deal to develop one of Celgene’s experimental cancer drugs for the Chinese market, Antengene has unveiled a $21 million A round to help pay for the work.
Antengene bears some classic marks of a China-based startup. Its CEO is Jay Mei, who held a senior development position with Celgene and spearheaded Revlimid’s approval in China. Celgene, meanwhile, took an equity stake in the company as it passed over Asian rights to its TORC1/2 inhibitor CC-223.
The biotech raised cash from Qiming Venture Partners, joined by TF Capital, HG Capital and Tigermed Investment, a venture arm of the CRO that Antengene is working with.
Jay Mei says that the round gets the company to focus on its lead program as it starts to build new collaborations and a pipeline of drugs in development. It will also start building its own manufacturing ops. And this is just the latest in a string of startups that are transforming the biotech scene in China virtually overnight.
William Hu, the Managing Partner of Qiming, said: “We have known Dr. Mei for a long time, and we really value his vision, experience and capability in developing new drugs. China’s new drug development is at a critical moment, the next ten years of development and achievements will determine whether China can truly become a new driving force for new drug development worldwide. Antengene and its whole team will play an important role in promoting the development process. Qiming will continue to support the team with deep insight and focus to achieve the dreams!”
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