Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Gensciences has raked in a total of over 800 million yuan ($123.6 million) through its Series A and Series B rounds of financing as the life science sector is gaining more traction during the global health crisis.
Investors in the Series A round include investment companies IDG Capital, New Alliance Capital, and Huaige Capital. The Series A backers made follow-on investments in the subsequent Series B round as well.
The Series B transaction was led by Haitong Capital, a unit of Chinese brokerage firm Haitong Securities, with participation from biomedicine investor Efung Capital and Beijing-based Huarong Rongde Asset Management.
Investment bank CEC Capital, the exclusive financial adviser of the two deals, announced in a WeChat post on Thursday.
The proceeds will be used to fund the R&D and clinical research of the firm’s bio-macromolecular drug candidates, construction of manufacturing facilities, and commercial development.
The completion of Gensciences’ Series A and B rounds comes at a time when dealmaking activity in China’s biopharmaceutical sector is heating up amid rising health awareness during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In February, Yisheng Biopharma just closed $130 million in a Series B round co-led by OrbiMed and Oceanpine Capital. Shanghai-based Abbisko Therapeutics in January completed a Series D round at $123 million, led by U.S. buyout firm The Carlyle Group. Legend Capital last December led a 700-million-yuan Series E round in MicuRx Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharma firm specialising in antimicrobial therapeutics.
Investors are also reloading more ammunition to capture opportunities, underscored by the closing of two industry funds this week. OrbiMed, a US-based life sciences investment firm, closed its fourth healthcare fund OrbiMed Asia Partners IV at $800 million to mainly invest in China and India. Chinese venture capital (VC) firm Addor Capital hit the closing of its second health industry investment fund at 1.557 billion yuan ($240.8 million), only two months after it had started the fundraising work.
Set up in 2019, Gensciences focuses on the development of innovative drugs for the treatment of hemophilia, metabolic disease, and cancer.
With subsidiaries in China’s Shanghai, Beijing, and Zhengzhou, the startup is building its headquarters at the Haimen Biological Medicine Science and Technology Innovation Park in eastern China’s Nantong City, Jiangsu Province. The headquarters building is expected to come into use in April, the startup said in a LinkedIn post.
The fresh capital will help the startup advance multiple innovative drug candidates into clinical trials or near-clinical stage. The firm is also ready to file applications for marketing & commericialisation of some of these drug products, said Wang Yali, CEO of Gensciences, cited in the post.
“We aspire to first become one of the major companies in the global hemophilia field, and then the top player, before further expanding our business playout for the treatment of metabolic disease and cancer,” said Wang.
As the lead investor of the Series B round, Haitong Capital was founded in 2008 as Haitong Securities’ private equity (PE) platform that primarily invests in the fields of advanced manufacturing, information technology, and biomedicine. The firm manages over 30 billion yuan ($4.6 billion), with investments into more than 400 enterprises to date.