Carlyle leads $123m round in Shanghai-based biopharma firm Abbisko

Abbisko Therapeutics, a Shanghai-based biopharmaceutical firm, announced on Friday the completion of a Series D funding round at $123 million to advance the startup’s clinical programmes and to expand its portfolio in the discovery and preclinical development stages.

The investment was led by US buyout firm The Carlyle Group, with participation from private equity (PE) giant Warburg Pincus, New York-based healthcare investor OrbiMed, Asia-focused asset management firm Lake Bleu Capital, and an unspecified Boston-based investor, according to a statement.

Janchor Partners, Sage Partners, SHC, Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund, and another strategic investor, as well as existing investors including Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV), Temasek Holdings, Qiming Venture Partners, Hankang Capital, and CICC Capital also participated.

The Series D round brings the total capital that Abbisko has raised so far to $263 million. It follows a Series C round in March 2020, in which Abbisko secured $70 million from lead investor Temasek and a group of existing investors.

Abbisko’s Series D round comes at a time when the number of new biopharma companies in China has risen steadily over the past three decades, while company formation declined in other major markets such as the US, Europe, and Japan. According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), more than 140 new biotech firms emerged in the world’s second-largest biopharma market between 2010 and 2020, driven by the country’s aging demographic and pent-up domestic demand.

Founded in April 2016, Abbisko is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery and development of innovative medicines.

The firm has developed an extensive small molecule pipeline in oncology targeted therapy and immune-oncology areas. Among them, four programmes have advanced into the clinical stage with seven investigational new drug (IND) approvals already obtained in different regions of the world.

It has also established a number of collaborations with other pharmaceutical companies, such as UK-based drug maker AstraZeneca and Nasdaq-listed, late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical firm X4 Pharmaceuticals, to strengthen its portfolio and R&D globally.

“We are deeply impressed by Abbisko’s deep bench of talent in the small molecule oncology field,” Fred Hassan, a current board member of Amgen and former chairman & CEO of Schering Plough, commented on behalf of Warburg Pincus in a statement. He said that Warburg Pincus will leverage its network to help the Chinese firm accelerate global partnership and global clinical development.

The new financing will be used to accelerate the firm’s clinical programmes and to further expand its preclinical pipeline consisting of multiple programmes in discovery to Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling stages.

Abbisko raised $42 million in a Series B round led by Qiming in March 2019. Its $28 million Series A round was led by LAV and completed in February 2017.

Its early backers also include Sinopharm Capital, an equity investment platform of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group; healthcare-focused venture capital (VC) firm Jianxin Capital; life sciences investor TF Capital; and CICC Capital, a private equity fund management platform of Chinese investment bank CICC.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.