China, Startups, Venture

With an AstraZeneca cancer drug in one hand, $37M in the other, Shanghai’s Alpha Bio zooms into a PhII study

One of the more prominent Chinese venture firms in biotech has put some cash behind yet another Chinese start-up looking to develop a Big Pharma drug for the booming Asian market.

In what has fast become a routine event, Qiming Venture Partners led a $37 million Series A tranche for Shanghai-based Alpha Biopharma. Alpha Bio has plans to launch a global, multi-center Phase II clinical study of AZD3759, a TKI for EGFR mutation-positive cases of non-small cell lung cancer.

William Hu

Qiming general partner William Hu is joining the board to watch his investment. Hu helped assemble a syndicate that includes the TF Fund and the LYZZ Healthcare Venture Fund. And the biotech is still raising money for the A round, with plans to bring the total to $65 million.

These China biotech startups have been coming fast and furious in recent months, winning a significant amount of venture cash as new investors leap into the game. Alpha fits one of a few standard business models, with a drug in hand and plans to race through the clinic as they hustle up to join a wave of new drug development work. And lung cancer is a major disease target in China.

As their code name implies, Alpha got their drug from AstraZeneca. Their web site also notes that the biotech is allied with Tigermed and WuXi Apptec, a powerhouse CRO.

James Liu, the COO of AlphaBio, noted: 

The strong financial support by Qiming Venture Partners and other prominent financial investors will allow us to further accelerate our commercial development of AZD3759 across the Asia Pacific region.

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Skyhawk Therapeutics Waltham, MA
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Elektroki Boston, MA
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Elektroki Boston, MA
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