Chinese innovative biopharmaceutical firm Mabwell BioScience has closed 1.97 billion yuan ($278 million) in a Series A round of financing led by the country’s private equity firm Shenzhen Shiyu Investment Management.
A group of Chinese domestic companies participated in the round, including venture capital company Oriental Fortune Capital, Hong Kong-listed Haitong Securities’ private equity unit Haitong Capital, and Loyal Valley Capital (LVC), a private equity firm that invests in middle-market companies, said Mabwell in a WeChat post on Tuesday.
Funder H Fund, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese financial service firm Founder Securities, regional state-owned conglomerate Ganzhou Development Investment Holding Group, Huajin Sino-foreign joint venture Huarong Rongde Asset Management, Sincere Capital, which focuses on the IoT and life sciences industries, and other investors also poured money into the Series A round.
“The fundraising amount has exceeded our initial expectation,” said Mabwell president Liu Datao in the post. “Under a critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world, we managed to obtain the trust from many professional institutional investors including Shiyu Capital, as well as funds with links to China’s Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology, among other backgrounds.”
Mabwell’s fundraising update comes on the heels of a flood of megadeals showcased by its domestic counterparts in the first quarter. Chinese health tech startups collected over $1.37 billion across 29 deals in Q1, according to proprietary data from DealStreetAsia. Five deals were valued at $100 million and higher, which were completed by Legend Biotech ($150.5 million), Zhiyun Health ($144 million), RemeGen ($100 million), Meizhong Jiahe ($100 million), and Transcenta ($100 million).
Shanghai-based Mabwell is involved in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb), which can be used to stimulate patients’ immune systems, long-acting recombinant proteins, as well as other macromolecular drugs.
Established in 2017, the company has launched seven subsidiaries for the R&D and production of biomedical products. It is expected to debut its first novel drug product in 2020 and to have over four products in the market by 2023, according to the post.
The startup entered into an agreement with Chinese biotech startup Biotheus Inc, which mainly develops next-generation antibody-based therapeutics, in late March to set up a joint venture. The entity will handle the clinical research, commercial production, marketing and sales of Biotheus’ bispecific antibody (BsAb) drug PM8001 in Greater China.
Biotheus has recorded $35 million in total funding from investors like Shiyu Investment and Chinese healthcare fund HighLight Capital (HLC) as of March 2019, shows the company website.
Shiyu Capital was founded in September 2014 to primarily make investments into the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector.
With nearly 6 billion yuan ($848 million) in assets under management (AUM), the company injected capital into Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec, JD.com’s healthcare unit JD Health, GIC-backed CStone Pharmaceuticals, Suzhou-based biotech firm Ascentage Pharma, and HitGen, which raised 835 million yuan ($118 million) on the Nasdaq-style STAR Market earlier this month.