Chinese biotech firm Biocytogen bags $142m Series D+ led by CMB International

Gut microbiome. Credit: Natural Health 365

Beijing-based biotechnology platform Biocytogen has announced the completion of a 970 million yuan ($142 million) Series D+ round led by returning backer CMB International, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of China Merchants Bank. 

The round saw participation from a clutch of returning investors — SDIC Venture Capital, Chinese insurance group China Life’s equity investment arm China Life Investment Holding Company, healthcare-focused 3E Bioventures Capital, and Shenzhen-based Cowin Capital. New investor Baifu Capital also participated, Biocytogen announced on WeChat on Tuesday.

In August, SDIC had teamed up with CMB, China Life Investment, and 3E to infuse a combined 543 million yuan ($80 million) in Biocytogen’s Series D.

In 2018, SDIC, CMB, 3E, Cowin, Oriza Holdings and Beijing Sanyi Investment Management had together poured 410 million yuan ($60 million) in a Series C round of financing in Biocytogen. A year earlier, SDIC had made an undisclosed investment in the company’s Series B round.

“The fresh proceeds will be used to accelerate the project of [developing] fully-human antibodies using ‘mice models’,” said Yuelei Shen, CEO, Biocytogen, in the WeChat statement. “We will ramp up efforts to work with more pharmaceutical companies in China and beyond, to facilitate the commercialisation of our drugs.”

With headquarters in Beijing and branch offices in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Boston in the US, Biocytogen is a preclinical-stage biotech company that aims to develop antibody drugs. It claims to have served over 2,000 clients globally in 2019.

Biocytogen had acquired the Beijing-based antibody drug development company Encure (Beijing) Biopharma in late August this year. According to a filing dated August 20, Biocytogen has also partnered with Korean biopharmaceutical player Eutilex Co., Ltd to expedite the discovery and development of antibody drugs. 

Of late, a slew of Chinese biopharma players have raised money from SDIC Group. Waterstone Pharmaceuticals secured 420 million yuan ($61 million) in a Series C round led by SDIC’s equity investment arm SDIC JULI Investment Management this month. In August, HK-listed Sichuan Pharmaceutical Holding Group’s subsidiary Xuanzhu Biopharmaceutical raised 800 million yuan ($116 million) in a Series A round of equity financing led by SDIC. 

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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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.