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Chi­nese an­ti­body mak­er, famed for Ebo­la cock­tail, notch­es $160M as it fo­cus­es on can­cer, au­toim­mune drugs

Big name investors have come together to bring Chinese biotech Mabworks’ Series C haul to $160 million, boosting a biologics pipeline that spans a number of cancers and autoimmune diseases.

Mabworks made an appearance on the international stage back in 2015 for its role in manufacturing an Ebola antibody that was used to treat two patients. That drug, MIL77, remains one of three drugs touted on the front page of the company’s website; the other two are antibodies that target HER2 and CD20, respectively.

John Oyler at the US-China Biopharma Innovation and Investment Summit in Shanghai on October 23, 2018. (Credit: Endpoints News, PharmCube)

Plough­ing through a crowd­ed PD-(L)1 mar­ket, BeiGene loads up on promis­ing lung can­cer da­ta

BeiGene’s entry to the PD-1 market — as the fourth domestic drugmaker to score approval in China, lagging months behind multinational players — might have been unremarkable. But the follow-up act is where it plans to shine.

Three months after posting positive top-line progression-free survival results for their pivotal Chinese study with tislelizumab and chemo for frontline squamous non-small cell lung cancer, BeiGene said the PD-1 antibody hit the same mark for non-squamous cases of NSCLC. In both trials, the drug was paired with chemotherapy and the regimen was compared to chemo alone.

Gary Rieschel, Duane Kuang, Nisa Leung, William Hu (Qiming)

Qim­ing's Chi­na-fo­cused $1.1B new fund brings glob­al haul to $5B with­in 1 week — but the dis­tri­b­u­tion won't be even

In case you’re still wondering, the global venture train for biopharma is definitely chugging along.

Qiming Venture Partners has just closed $1.1 billion for its seventh fund, bringing the grand total of new biotech funds close to $5 billion just over the past week. To be sure, the China-based VC also invests in medtech, diagnostics, healthcare services, information technology, artificial intelligence, enterprise services, consumer internet and e-commerce — but over the past 14 years it’s established itself as a premier early-stage biotech backer with an eye for players that eventually make it big.

Mer­ck-part­nered an­ti­body mak­er read­ies $300M IPO as HKEX picks up pace

Three weeks after InnoCare launched its IPO into the welcoming embrace of HKEX investors, Akesobio is looking to one-up the company with its own $300 million (HKD$2.34 billion) raise.

Partnered with Merck, Akesobio’s pitch centers around a suite of in-house technologies that it says generate superior antibodies against known targets such as PD-1, CTLA-4, IL-12 and IL-23. Having kicked off pre-marketing on Monday, it expects to make a public debut this month.

Lil­ly Asia Ven­tures co-leads $100M+ round for Chi­nese biotech and its late-stage lu­pus drug

Can a Chinese biotech deliver the first new lupus drug in decades? A high-profile group of VCs are betting on it.

Lilly Asia Ventures and Lake Bleu Capital are the co-headliners for RemeGen’s latest raise, which brought in more than $100 million. Hudson Bay Capital and Vivo Capital — which, like LAV, also invested in a pre-IPO round for Legend Biotech unveiled today — chimed in, as did Janchor Partners and OrbiMed.

Brii Bio gets all hands on deck for Covid-19 an­ti­body hunt, lever­ag­ing Chi­nese part­ner­s' work with re­cov­ered pa­tients

A preprint paper describing 206 monoclonal antibodies against SARS-Cov-2 isolated from eight Covid-19 patients in China attracted a small rally on Twitter a few days ago, when Broad investigator David Liu dubbed it “very good news.

Now Brii Bio is unveiling some more good news: It’s partnering with the researchers behind that paper from Tsinghua and 3rd People’s Hospital of Shenzhen to bring some of those antibodies to the clinic.

BeiGene scram­bles to find new Abrax­ane sup­pli­er as Chi­nese in­spec­tors or­der halt on im­ports, cit­ing Bris­tol My­ers fail­ure

In a slap in the face aimed right at one of the world’s largest drugmakers, BeiGene $BGNE said today that it is being forced by Chinese officials to halt imports of the cancer drug Abraxane.

According to the China-based BeiGene, the China National Medical Products Administration — or NMPA — ordered the halt following an inspection of one of Bristol Myers’ US facilities used to make the drug. That’s a rare event in the global drug making world, where the FDA is known for its regular citations for overseas drug manufacturers.

In­no­Care IPO over­sub­scribed 300x as Hong Kong in­vestors turned to biotech amid runoff

Forget the global stock meltdown. Or at least Chinese biotech InnoCare did, forging ahead with a more than $250-million IPO in Hong Kong despite the exchange being in the midst of a Kingda Ka-esque freefall.

It worked. InnoCare wrote in a filing that retail investors subscribed to 7.98 billion shares – about 300 times the amount the number offered to them, according to the South China Morning Post. With institutional investors agreeing to chip in and buy US$164 million (HK$1.28 billion) of shares, the company will raise $289 million (HK$2.2 billion). Shares priced at the high end of an HK$8.18 to HK$8.95 range.

Image credit: Kimimasa Mayama/​EPA/​Shutterstock

A Japan­ese flu drug gets up­beat re­views in Chi­na for blunt­ing the im­pact of Covid-19 — and that is bol­ster­ing Gilead­'s case for remde­sivir

We’re starting to get the first round of data on drugs being used to rein in the devastating outbreak of Covid-19 in China. And one drug from Japan is getting a thumbs-up based on a pair of small trials being used as pivotals in the crisis — which appear to open the way to widespread use.

That new readout has already attracted the attention of one Wall Street analyst, who sees a direct read-through to Gilead’s remdesivir, where data on the coronavirus are expected in weeks.

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Bay­er fires em­ploy­ee who was spot­ted break­ing quar­an­tine in Chi­na

Amid heightened sensitivities around social distancing and increasingly tough restrictions on people’s movement in desperate attempts to suppress the spread of Covid-19 around the world, Bayer’s China division said it has fired an employee after she broke quarantine rules in Beijing.

In under four months since it first reported cases of mysterious pneumonia to the WHO, China has swiftly rebranded itself as a safe haven, with imported cases now surpassing local transmission. So when a video emerged of a woman who appeared to be defying government orders regarding disease control, it went viral and drew universal condemnation.