China Digest: Drug developer Hope nets $56m; biotech firm Yikon raises $39m

Source: Laurynas Mereckas/Unsplash

Chinese innovative drug developer Hope Medicine has secured $56 million in a funding round led by investment firms Qiming Venture Partners and Grand Flight Investment, while biotech firm Yikon Genomics has raised 250 million yuan ($38.6 million).

Qiming, Grand Flight lead $56m round in drug maker Hope

Chinese drug developer Hope Medicine has secured $56 million in a Series B round of financing jointly led by investment firms Qiming Venture Partners and Grand Flight Investment, the startup announced on Thursday.

Health-focused investment platform HighLight Capital; Sinovation Ventures, a technology venture capital (VC) firm led by former Google China head Kai-Fu Lee; alongside growth equity firm Trustbridge Partners, which had backed Hope’s Series A round in 2019, all poured capital into the new round.

Investment bank HaoYue Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor of the deal.

Founded in 2018 by China’s Peking University professor Rui-Ping Xiao, Hope is a biopharmaceutical firm that mainly develops first-in-class medicines on the three major fields of women’s health, endocrine, and cardiovascular diseases. It has R&D bases and offices in China’s Nanjing, Shanghai, and Beijing.

The firm operates an independent R&D team, while employing licence-in models under which it has signed a worldwide exclusive licence agreement with German drug maker Bayer AG for the development and commercialisation of the human antibody, HMI-115. The antibody targets the prolactin (PRL) receptor for the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss.

Yikon Genomics raises $39m in Series D round

Chinese biotech firm Yikon Genomics announced on Thursday the completion of a Series D funding round at 250 million yuan ($38.6 million) from investors including Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma-backed private equity (PE) firm Yunfeng Capital.

Other investors include General Technology Venture Capital, an asset management unit of state-owned conglomerate China General Technology Group; Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm’s equity investment platform Sinopharm Capital; and Suzhou-based investment firm Oriza Holdings.

CICC Capital’s biomedicine vehicle CICC Qide Innovation Biopharmaceutical Equity Investment Fund — an existing shareholder of Yikon — also invested in the new round.

Founded in 2012, Yikon specialises in the development and application of single-cell, whole-genome amplification and sequencing technologies to deliver precision medical detection technology for the early detection of cancers and reproductive health. It partners with nearly 500 medical institutions in mainland China and operates across the Chinese cities of Suzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Wuhan.

“Over the past nine years, Yikon has raised over 800 million yuan (about $123.6 million) in total financing,” said Lu Sijia, the firm’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement. Prior to the Series D round, Yikon raised 220 million yuan in a Series C round led by healthcare investor Kinghall Ventures in November 2019.

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.