China Digest: Temasek leads Mojia round; Helixon nets $75m

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Temasek Holdings has led a $80-million Series B funding round for Chinese biomanufacturing firm Mojia Biotech. Separately, Chinese drug discovery startup Helixon has completed its Series A funding round at almost 500 million yuan (about $75 million).

Temasek leads $80m Series B round for biomanufacturer Mojia

Singapore’s Temasek Holdings has led an $80-million Series B funding round for Mojia Biotech to help the Shanghai-based biomanufacturing firm to scale up its business of producing eco-friendly food ingredients and chemical materials.

LYZZ Capital, Sento Investment, as well as existing shareholders Bits x Bites and Asia Green Fund participated in the Series B round, said Mojia in a statement.

Leveraging its proprietary platform for enzyme and metabolic engineering, Mojia is looking to disrupt the traditional petroleum-based manufacturing processes that have caused tremendous environmental and social challenges, such as greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution.

Since its inception in 2018, Mojia has developed Vitamin B5 under the Viridimin brand, which, compared to the prevailing approaches, not only consumes less energy and emits fewer wastes but also ensures a more stable supply of Vitamin B5 when conventional pathways face frequent production disruptions due to China’s tightening environmental regulations. It plans to bring this product into commission this month.

The firm is also advancing its Aliphane series of biopolymer products that has potential in coating and adhesive applications.

Prior to the deal, Mojia raised over 100 million yuan ($15 million) in its Series A round led by Asia Green Fund in August 2020.

AI drug discovery firm Helixon nets $75m in 5Y Capital-led Series A round

Helixon, a Chinese drug discovery startup building artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for protein-based therapeutics, has completed its Series A funding round at almost 500 million yuan (about $75 million), per it announcement.

5Y Capital, a venture capital (VC) firm formerly known as Morningside Venture Capital, led the Series A round with participation from Gaorong Capital, Neumann Capital, Hillhouse’s GL Ventures, and Qingzhi Capital. Beijing-based Xiang He Capital, which had led Helixon’s angel round in October 2021, also participated in the deal.

Founded in June 2021, Helixon aims to develop AI tools that empower scientists to decipher protein function and interaction, analyse large-scale genomic datasets for target identification, and design therapeutics such as antibodies and cell therapies.

Helixon’s Series A round comes as the global AI drug discovery market is poised to reach $4 billion by 2027 from an estimated $600 million in 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.7% during the period, according to a MarketsandMarkets report in June.

With the new funding, the startup will continue to invest in the application of AI in new drug discovery, improve high-performance AI computing capabilities, and expand its high-throughput experimental platform.

It also plans to recruit new talent, speed up commercial development, and promote both the independent R&D of its pipeline products and collaboration with external partners, said the startup in the statement.

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