The mega-round club of China’s oncology drugmakers is just getting started.
In the latest, Suzhou-based Tot Biopharm closed $102 million in Series B cash to fuel R&D of the 10 drugs in its pipeline. Existing investors Vivo Capital, Center Laboratories, Chengwei Capital, Yuanta Financial Holdings Group and Cathay Capital were joined by China Universal — a huge investment management firm with a broad focus — alongside “several renowned domestic and foreign investors.”
High profile VCs have piled onto fast-growing cancer drug developers in China, ranging from more familiar names like Ascentage ($150 million Series C), to rising stars like CStone ($260 million Series B), to virtual unknowns like Curon ($150 million Series A).
In Tot’s case, investors are not just betting on the biologics and small molecule drugs that it is developing in-house, six of which have had INDs cleared by China’s regulators. Tot is marketing a gastric cancer drug called S-1, and conducts outsourced manufacturing work for other biopharma companies.
With roots in Center Laboratories, a storied pharma in Taiwan, Tot looked to build their own manufacturing capabilities right at their inception in 2010 — which was a major reason they put their foot down in Suzhou’s Industrial Park, general manager Gloria Huang told Global Bio & Investment.
At Tot’s R&D center in Shanghai, the research team is furthest ahead with TAB008, a biosimilar of Avastin, currently in a Phase III trial. That puts the company among the “top three firms in China competing to get the drug on market,” they wrote.
Tot’s platforms have also generated several monoclonal antibodies, an antibody-drug conjugate, an oncolytic virus and a targeted liposome drug, all to be supported in time by the new financing.
“In the future, we will also utilize the existing advantages of our established platforms to expand multi-perspective partnerships and cooperation at different levels, so that the benefits of resource integration will be maximized,” Huang said in a statement.
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