Canada’s Virogin raises $120m led by China Life; to use proceeds for Shanghai R&D centre

Virogin Biotech, a Vancouver, Canada-based developer of next-generation oncolytic virus (OV) therapeutics, has raised over $120 million in a Series D2 round of financing as the company looks to build its global R&D centre in China’s Shanghai city.

Already backed by a group of largely China-based firms, Virogin again roped in Chinese investors in the Series D2 round. The transaction was led by the Chinese insurer China Life’s healthcare industry investment fund, China Life Healthcare Fund.

Other investors include the Chinese government-guided venture capital (VC) group Shenzhen Capital Group, investment bank China Securities, and GF Qianhe Investment. Its existing shareholders Panlin Capital and Linden Asset Group (LAG) re-upped in the new round.

BMD Capital, which primarily provides financial services in China’s healthcare sector, served as the exclusive financial advisor to the deal.

Established in 2015 by Chris Huang and William Jia, Virogin is engaged in the fundamental research, translational, and clinical development of OV therapies, which use a virus that preferentially infects and kills cancer cells.

In a statement on Friday, Virogin’s co-founder and CEO Huang said that part of the new proceeds will be used to finance the construction of Virogin’s global R&D and production centre in Nanxiang, a town in northwestern Shanghai. Its construction is expected to start soon, with a target to complete and put into use next year.

The new financing will also fund the clinical development of Virogin’s existing immunotherapies and OV therapies, continuous investment in the mRNA technological platform, R&D of the new product pipeline, and potential strategic cooperation.

The Series D2 round has brought the firm’s total capital raised in the past year to $262 million.

In May, Virogin secured $80 million in a Series D1 round led by CCT Fund, a Chinese state-owned fund fully known as China Structural Reform Fund. The earlier deal followed the completion of its $62-million Series C round jointly led by China’s CMG-SDIC Capital and asset manager CDH Investments in September 2020.

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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.