China channel feed

Baiteng Zhao and Tae Han (ProfoundBio)

With Eli Lil­ly's back­ing, a team of Seagen vet­er­ans with ADC chops is look­ing to crash the Chi­nese on­col­o­gy par­ty

With an industrywide pipeline quickly gathering steam, the Chinese oncology market has become a red-hot market for Western investors as well as Big Pharma partners looking for the next big thing. One way to get there is to get in early, and now Eli Lilly’s Asian investment arm is staking its claim with a team of Seagen veterans.

ProfoundBio, a Suzhou, China, and Washington State-based oncology player, has raised a $55 million Series A with backing from lead investors Lilly Asia Ventures and LYFE Capital to advance its antibody-drug conjugate and immuno-oncology platform into clinical development, the company said Tuesday.

Al Sandrock (Biogen via YouTube)

In search of a post-Tec­fidera hit for MS, Bio­gen fol­lows Sanofi, Roche down the BTK path — and bets $125M cash on a drug out of Chi­na

Aduhelm may be hogging the spotlight, but behind the scenes, Biogen’s BD team has apparently looked far and wide to spice up the pipeline.

Exhibit A: orelabrutinib, a BTK inhibitor it’s paying $125 million to license from China’s InnoCare Pharma. In particular, Biogen is scoring worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the oral small molecule in multiple sclerosis — the disease where it first made its name.

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Chi­nese health au­thor­i­ty erects new gold stan­dard in on­col­o­gy R&D, spook­ing in­vestors in boom­ing field

The US has long been the leader in research and development in oncology, but homegrown Chinese drugmakers have jumped one hurdle after another in making a name for themselves. Now, the Chinese government is erecting new hurdles for its native industry to leap, and — at least for now — it’s putting a slight chill on the field.

The Chinese health authority NMPA’s Center for Drug Evaluation released new guidance on oncology R&D late last week, offering a new gold standard for how homegrown drugmakers should determine clinical efficacy amid a booming field for drug innovation, according to draft documents.

Sir­naomics puts off an IPO a lit­tle longer as it pock­ets an­oth­er megaround. Is an S-1 around the cor­ner this time?

Back in October, when small interfering RNA player Sirnaomics landed its Series D round, CEO Patrick Lu said he was open to preparing for an IPO “in (the) near future.” Those S-1 papers never came, and now Lu’s taking another trip down VC lane.

Sirnaomics unveiled a $105 million Series E round on Thursday, led by the same firm that led the last megaround: Rotating Boulder Fund. The biotech says it will pump the funds into its RNAi portfolio aimed at treating cancers, viral infections, fibrosis and metabolic diseases.

Bing Yao, ArriVent CEO

For­mer Viela CEO Bing Yao finds his next gig — bring­ing Chi­nese R&D in­no­va­tion state­side

When Horizon Therapeutics bought out Viela Bio for $53 a share, everyone wondered what then-CEO Bing Yao would do next — including himself. Three months after the sale was completed, we have an answer.

Yao launched ArriVent Biopharma on Wednesday with up to $150 million in funding and an EGFR-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor in-licensed from Shanghai-based Allist Pharmaceuticals. His goal? To bring innovations from China and other emerging biotech hubs to the US, EU and beyond.

Yescar­ta goes to Chi­na as Fo­s­un Kite nabs his­toric first CAR-T OK

The CAR-T era has officially arrived in China.

Kite Pharma — which had lost out to Novartis in the battle for first FDA approval by just two months — can now claim a historic first at the National Medical Products Administration, where its joint venture with Fosun steered Yescarta to a landmark OK.

First accepted for priority review last March, the CD19-targeting therapy is indicated for patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma who have received two or more lines of prior treatment, according to an NPMA statement. That includes diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma, among others, they added.

Shuyuan Yao, Allogene Overland CEO

Al­lo­gene, Over­land woo an ex­pe­ri­enced hand from WuXi to steer their al­lo­gene­ic CAR-T JV

Allogene Overland Biopharm, the joint venture David Chang and Ed Zhang set up to turbocharge the development of off-the-shelf CAR-T therapies in China, has locked in its first CEO.

Shuyuan Yao joins from WuXi Advanced Therapies, the cell and gene therapy-focused arm of the sprawling contract testing, development and manufacturing group. Most recently CSO, head of research and technology development, Yao was credited for driving the creation of WuXi’s cell therapy R&D business unit, and had led everything from tech acquisition and development to translation and application.

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Christian Hogg, Hutchmed CEO

Hutchmed files for $600M+ IPO in Hong Kong as lead on­col­o­gy drug su­r­u­fa­tinib awaits FDA's good graces

In oncology, a flush of Chinese-developed drugs has the biopharma industry rethinking the poles of power in R&D as the blossoming nation continues to make a name for itself and pick up bundles of cash in the process. Now, as its lead drug faces a pivotal FDA review, the company formerly known as Chi-Med is planting its flag on home soil with a massive public offering.

Hutchmed — recently renamed from Chi-Med, or Hutchison China MediTech — will look to raise $603 million as part of a Hong Kong IPO that serves as a homecoming of sorts for the Chinese-based oncology player, which has listed on Nasdaq since 2016.

Trail­ing the Big Phar­ma play­ers, a less­er known BC­MA CAR-T can­di­date comes in­to the spot­light

Bristol Myers Squibb and bluebird cleared the first BCMA CAR-T therapy for multiple myeloma patients back in March, and J&J and their partners at Legend Biotech aren’t far behind. Now, a lesser known candidate developed in China is coming into the spotlight at EHA.

IBI326, a BCMA CAR-T therapy developed by Innovent Biologics and IASO Biotherapeutics, had a 97.1% overall response rate in 35 patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, according to updated Phase I data the companies are taking to EHA. IASO CEO Maxwell Wang says it’s the only oral presentation on a Chinese BCMA CAR-T at this year’s conference.

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XQ Lin (File photo)

No­vo Hold­ings, Vi­vo lead a record $200M raise for a Sin­ga­pore-based tools play­er with plans for a Boston hub, new deals

Close to a year after putting a foot down in Singapore, Novo Holdings has spotted an Asia-based player worth betting a big chunk of its “patient capital” on.

The Danish group is co-leading a $200 million Series A for Esco Lifesciences Group — setting a new record for life sciences tools companies in the region, according to the investor, and funding a sprint toward “Esco 3.0,” where cell and gene therapy process development and manufacturing will loom large.

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