Riding on the momentum of two licensing deals, Harbour BioMed now has $85 million to advance its freshly beefed up pipeline.
GIC — Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund — led the Series B, leading a syndicate that includes China Life Private Equity Investment and Vertex Ventures as well as Series A investors AdvanTech and Legend Capital.
Founder and CEO Jingsong Wang calls the round a “strong vote of confidence” for the Chinese biotech’s three-pronged strategy built around its foundational human transgenic antibody technology, dubbed Harbour Mice: out-licensing its tech, in-licensing assets to develop on the platform and discovering new ones in-house.
So far, the in-licensing stream has yielded all of Harbour BioMed’s core drugs. A week ago Harbour acquired exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize a PD-L1 agent outside of greater China from from Chengdu-based Kelun biotech — one of at least 22 PD-1/L1 agents in development in China and another spark in the global explosion of checkpoint inhibitors. The deal is potentially worth $350 million including biobucks.
Days before that, Harbour struck a deal with India’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals to obtain China rights to a CD3-based bi-specific antibody therapy against HER-2 overexpressed breast cancer.
The rest of the pipeline has yet to enter the clinic, including an anti-FcRn based antibody against autoimmune diseases and a biologic for inflammatory dry-eye disease, among other potential indications.
Launched in late 2016 through the acquisition of Netherlands-based Harbour Antibodies, Harbour BioMed is headquartered in Shanghai with a Boston outpost.
“During the one and half years since we established operations, Harbour has successfully expanded its network of collaborations for its core transgenic mouse technologies, rapidly built an innovative pipeline through internal discovery and in-licensed development stage programs in the areas of oncology and immunology, and established an experienced and professional team,” said Wang in a statement. “The financing is a very strong vote of confidence by our new and existing investors in our vision for the company, strategy, progress to date and our team.”
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