The biopharma funding engine motors on, as Chinese biotech raises nearly $280M in monster round
We have more evidence today that the appetite for biopharma financing is alive and kicking, the coronavirus pandemic be damned.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that Shanghai-based Mabwell Biotech has raised a mammoth $278.5 million in a Series A injection, led by Chinese venture capital firm Shiyu Capital.
Mabwell, established in 2017, develops monoclonal antibodies and long-acting recombinant proteins, among other drugs, and is expected to debut its first drug on the market this year. The company has also launched seven subsidiaries focused on R&D and the production of biomedical products.
In late March, Mabwell tied up with fellow Chinese startup Biotheus, which is focused on antibodies. Their joint venture will focus on the development, production and sale of Biotheus’ experimental bispecific antibody, PM8001.
A group of Chinese domestic companies participated in the Mabwell’s round, including Oriental Fortune Capital, Haitong Securities’ private equity unit Haitong Capital, and Loyal Valley Capital, DealStreetAsia reported, citing a Mabwell WeChat post on Tuesday.
Despite the global market rout, the coronavirus pandemic has been somewhat kinder to the biopharma world, which in recent weeks and months has seen a decent bit of fundraising from venture capital firms, IPOs, and rounds of financing.
Earlier this month, China-based life sciences VC Qiming Venture Partners closed $1.1 billion for its seventh fund.
“China has less exposure here because it appears as though trial initiation and recruitment has resumed in China, whereas in the U.S. it may be several more months,” Qiming managing partner Gary Rieschel told Endpoints News.
In early April, a Chinese biotech focused on delivering the first new lupus drug in decades — RemeGen — generated more than $100 million in a fresh round of financing, led by Lilly Asia Ventures and Lake Bleu Capital.