China channel feed

Frank Zhang (Imaginechina via AP Images)

Months af­ter shock­ing house ar­rest, Leg­end co-founder Frank Zhang is out on bail — though the CAR-T play­er has moved on

It’s still unclear why Frank Zhang — the founder and former CEO of both GenScript and its CAR-T subsidiary, Legend Biotech — was first placed under residential surveillance and then arrested. But he’s finally released on bail.

GenScript first disclosed in September that Zhang had been detained as part of a customs investigation on GenScript, the contract research organization he had run for the better part of the last two decades. It eventually emerged that the suspected offense had to do with “smuggling goods prohibited by the import and export regulations under the laws of the PRC,” and two other employees who had handled import and export activities were also arrested.

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Dun Yang (Anticancer Bioscience)

A syn­thet­ic lethal­i­ty play­er emerges in Chi­na, armed with lessons on un­drug­gable onco­gene from No­bel lau­re­ate's lab

As a longtime postdoc in the UCSF lab of Michael Bishop — the Nobel laureate known, among other things, for cloning the oncogene MYC — Dun Yang knew the cancer target like an archer knows the bullseye.

“I always talk about if we needed to nominate the most important oncogene […] that should be MYC,” he told Endpoints News. “The second one would be RAS. Because more than 50% of human cancer overexpress MYC oncogene.”

In­novent and Lil­ly win sec­ond Chi­na OK for Tyvyt in front­line NSCLC, ramp­ing up pres­sure on king Keytru­da

Innovent Biologics and its partners at Eli Lilly have notched another arrow in their quiver in their bid to take down Merck’s Keytruda.

Chinese regulators granted a prominent new approval for the pair’s Tyvyt on Wednesday, indicating the drug for first-line treatment of nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemo. It’s the second approval in the country for the Chinese powerhouse and American Big Pharma, after Tyvyt was OK’ed in 2018 for relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma after two lines of chemotherapy.

William Cao (Bloomberg via Getty)

Nas­daq rings in its first biotech IPOs of 2021: a CAR-T spe­cial­ist from Chi­na, a can­cer port­fo­lio play, and a SPAC

There was once a time when stellar CAR-T data from China would come — in a sense — out of nowhere and be greeted with surprise, or even outright skepticism.

It wasn’t that long ago, but those days are now gone. This is a time a CAR-T therapy originating from China can be developed in the public eye, down to every cut of data, by a company bound by American rules of disclosure.

Case in point: Gracell Biotechnologies, a Shanghai-based outfit that’s grabbing Nasdaq’s first biotech IPO listing alongside Cambridge, MA-based Cullinan Oncology.

Shanghai Pharmaceuticals industry park design (Shanghai Pharma)

Fast-ex­pand­ing Shang­hai Phar­ma breaks ground on $1.8B biotech park fo­cused on next-gen R&D, an­ti­body pro­duc­tion

One of China’s biggest biopharma companies is hitting the ground running in 2021.

Shanghai Pharmaceuticals broke ground Monday on a $1.8 billion, 3.2 million-square-foot industrial park dedicated to R&D work in the bustling field of cell and gene therapies as well as manufacturing therapeutic antibodies, the firm said.

The massive site is located in Pudong New Area’s Zhangjiang area and will see construction take place in two phases — 1.08 million square feet for the first, and 2.15 million square feet for the second. News of the groundbreaking and expansion project was first reported by SHINE, a digital news outlet of the Shanghai Daily.

Months af­ter strik­ing SHP2 deal with Ab­b­Vie, Ja­co­bio pulls in $174M+ from Hong Kong IPO

The seasoned crew at Jacobio has raised $174.1 million on its HKEX debut, fuelling a pipeline anchored by two AbbVie-partnered allosteric SHP2 inhibitors.

It’s significantly less than what the biotech was rumored to be seeking back in August — Bloomberg’s sources said it could be as much as $400 million — but Qiming, which has backed the biotech since its Series A, was happy about how it went from founding to IPO in just five years. At 12.34%, Qiming owned the largest chunk of stock in Jacobio.

Lingshi Tan, dMed founder, chairman and CEO (via dMed website)

A boom­ing mar­ket pro­pels Chi­na CRO to a $100M raise. Is an IPO next?

China’s cost advantage and position as the world’s second-largest prescription drug market has fueled its red-hot CRO industry over the last few years. On Thursday, Shanghai-based dMed Biopharmaceutical wrapped up a $100 million Series C round, which it says will blaze the path to an IPO.

Founded in 2016 by Lingshi Tan, Pfizer’s former general manager of China R&D, dMed boasts sites in major cities across China, the US, and one location in Belgium. It hooked a $50 million Series B just last year, and opened a US regulatory affairs office in DC to help Chinese biotechs submit US filings and serve as a conduit for US drugmakers looking to outsource development to China.

Ab­b­Vie's Covid-19 an­ti­body part­ner wraps $221M Hong Kong IPO

Just a few days after AbbVie went all in on a Covid-19 antibody, its partner has officially wrapped its IPO.

Listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Harbour BioMed has raised $221 million with help from nine cornerstone investors: BlackRock Fund, HBM Healthcare, Hillhouse Capital, Hudson Bay Capital, Octagon Investments, Anlan Fund, Legend Capital, OrbiMed and 3W Capital.

The new injection adds to over $300 million the company — which has offices in both Suzhou, China and Cambridge, MA — has accrued in four years.

ADC Therapeutics CEO Chris Martin (L) and Overland COO/CBO Ed Zhang

Go­ing to Chi­na? ADC Ther­a­peu­tics spot­lights a new way to do it with Hill­house-backed Over­land

Chris Martin and his crew at ADC Therapeutics went into the JP Morgan Healthcare conference this January armed with positive pivotal data for its lead antibody-drug conjugate, loncastuximab tesirine. Having focused its development program exclusively in the US and Europe, it was time to find a Chinese partner.

The search, which stretched out over the next few months, culminated in six term sheets, from large pharma, oncology specialists and all. But one bidder stood out: Overland Pharma, the fledgling platform play co-founded by venture partners at Hillhouse Capital, a marquee VC firm Martin has come to respect.

Ed Zhang (Overland)

'S­cale and speed': Hill­house puts its weight be­hind Chi­na start­up eye­ing cut­ting-edge tech from around the world

In the relatively small but hefty world of biotechs working to bring new drugs from the West to China, Hillhouse Capital has been an active, if cautious, investor. Not only did it bet big on BeiGene early, it also co-led Everest Medicines’ monster $310 million round to bankroll commercial launches earlier this year.

But now it’s going all-in with its own startup — and a twist to the model.

Ed Zhang and Hua Mu, venture partners who joined the firm early this year, are the co-founders of Overland Pharmaceuticals. Other than the initial focus on oncology, autoimmune diseases and cardiometabolic disorders, the duo isn’t disclosing much about the company yet, although it’s clear that Hillhouse, which had $10.6 billion to spend for its last fund, isn’t holding any money back when it comes to funding deals and wooing talent.