Outsourcing, Venture

Tapping a biotech boom, China gene editing CRO Biocytogen bags $65M round for global expansion

Money is flowing in and out of China, and it’s touching every part of the ecosystem. Today, a Chinese CRO specializing in animal models for gene editing and targeting spread the word that it has reaped a $65 million Series C round led by domestic investors.

Biocytogen says the proceeds will go toward opening up markets both in China and overseas, product R&D, facility construction and talent recruitment. CMB International Capital Corporation, the financial arm of China Merchants Bank, led the round, with support from existing investors like SDIC Venture Capital Management (Series B lead), 3E Bioventures, Cowin Capital and Oriza Holdings.

Yuelei Shen

CEO Yuelei Shen founded the company’s Beijing headquarters in 2009 after testing out the concept in Massachusetts, where he earned a medical degree. Since then, he has started a second location in Jiangsu and grown the team to 600 staffers, locking in academic and industry clients like the University of Oxford and J&J.

“In the coming five years, global R&D expenditure will continue to rise, and the pharma CRO industry will be a direct beneficiary of that,” said CMB managing director Kexiang Zhou in a statement. “As part of that global effort, the CRO industry in China will keep developing rapidly. The robust development of drug R&D in China will also contribute to its rise. Biocytogen has a solid foundation as an integrated biologics CRO, and we are very happy to support their next step.”

As a supplier of immunodeficient and immune checkpoint humanized mice, Biocytogen has benefited from the tailwind of immuno-oncology worldwide. Its platform is built upon two systems: one system derived from CRISPR/Cas9 and another vector construction technology focused on embryonic stem cells.


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