Ready to expand, GenScript raises $224M for CDMO focused on antibodies, cell and gene therapies
China’s GenScript has brought in new investors to back its biologics-focused subsidiary — to the tune of $224 million.
GenScript, which is listed in Hong Kong, disclosed the Series C for GenScript ProBio in a filing. The new funds will help “build up manufacturing capacity, further research and development capabilities and opportunistically acquire assets” to develop ProBio’s contract development and manufacturing business, the mother company wrote.
This marks GenScript ProBio’s third financing round in less than two years. Hillhouse Capital committed $150 million in June 2021 for the Series A, and other investors came on board for a $37 million Series B just a year later.
While GenScript made its name as a provider of drug discovery and development services, it is also known as the company that created Legend Biotech, the darkhorse player whose BCMA-targeted CAR-T attracted a top-dollar partnership with J&J. Legend was eventually spun out and found its own place on Nasdaq, and the FDA approved its CAR-T last year.
Back in 2019, the unit that would become ProBio teamed up with Legend Biotech to construct a commercial manufacturing center in Zhenjiang, China, that could produce plasmids and viruses for cell and gene therapies. GenScript unveiled the ProBio brand later in the summer of 2020.
It’s since signed on multiple customers, including the deep-pocketed mRNA contender Abogen, which wanted its help making Covid-19 vaccines. ProBio also offers services in antibody discovery and engineering.
Storied VC and private equity firm Legend Capital (unrelated to Legend Biotech) led the round. Other investors include Zhuhai Fenheng Enterprise Management Consulting Center, HLC VGC and Shanghai Lianpeng Enterprise Management Partnership.
Following the close, GenScript’s stake in ProBio drops from around 80% to about 70%.