Suzhou-headquartered biotechnology firm Tot Biopharm, which focuses on high-end anti-tumour drugs, has raised $102 million in a Series B funding round co-led by existing investor Chengwei Capital, asset manager 99Fund, and China Universal (Cayman) GP Ltd.
The latest funding round was also joined by investors that joined in earlier rounds, including Center Laboratories Group, Vivo Capital, Yuanta Financial Holdings Group, and Cathay Capital.
The fundraising came more than eight years after the company secured $6 million in its Series A funding round led by private equity firm Chengwei Capital in January 2010.
In a statement, Tot Biopharm said the fresh funds will be used to accelerate development of its key pipelines and to further finance its R&D, manufacturing, and marketing of high-end anti-tumour drugs.
Founded in 2010, Tot Biopharm now has over 10 drugs in the R&D stage, including three biologics and three small molecules, which have received investigational new drug application approvals, as well as one antibody-drug conjugate, which is expected to receive approval soon.
The firm is developing a biosimilar of bevacizumab, designated TAB008, for the treatment of solid tumours such as non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer. It is also in the process of ramping up production of its third-generation innovative oncolytic virus drug TVP211.
“Tot Biopharm is taking advantage of the high-speed growth opportunities in China’s oncology market. In the future, we will also utilize the existing advantages of our established platforms to expand multi-perspective partnerships and cooperation at different levels, so that the benefits of resource integration will be maximized,” said Gloria Huang, the company’s general manager.
According to London-based L.E.K Consulting, China is the world’s second-largest pharmaceuticals markets after the US by sales, which were worth $123 billion last year. It is also a key growth market for drugs to treat cancer, with more than four million new cases diagnosed each year.
Between 2006 and 2011, the overall Chinese pharmaceutical market grew between 15 and 30 per cent per year, before tapering off slightly into the high teens in 2012-2013, according to a 2016 KPMG report.
In June, Chinese life sciences venture capital fund Pivotal bioVenture Partners China led the $16.5-million seed funding round in Oncologie, a Boston- and Shanghai-headquartered biopharmaceutical firm that targets cancer patients.