Chinese biopharma firm Gensciences rakes in $124m in Series A, B rounds

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.

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.