Chinese biopharma firm Waterstone raises $61m Series C round

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Waterstone Pharmaceuticals has raised 420 million yuan ($61 million) in a Series C round of financing led by SDIC JULI Investment Management, an equity investment fund co-launched by China’s state-owned investment giant SDIC.

Shanghai-based Panxi Captial Management; YuanBio Venture Capital, which focuses on early- and growth-stage life sciences and healthcare investments in China; and Yichang State-Owned Investment Group, a state-owned company in China’s landlocked Hubei province, were among the investors that participated in the round, Waterstone said in a statement on Monday.

Wuhan-based Waterstone focuses on the R&D and manufacturing of polymer drugs for the treatment of kidney diseases and metabolic disorders. The company has a macromolecule screening platform, developing a pipeline of four drug candidates, which are expected to enter the clinical stage soon.

Founded in December 2009, Waterstone operates four production lines for high-molecular polymer drugs, covering their intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and high-end preparations. It claims to be China’s largest supplier of intermediates used in the production of hyperkalemia (a disorder caused by elevated levels of potassium in the blood) and hyperphosphatemia (higher than normal levels of phosphate in the blood) drugs for multinational pharmaceutical companies.

“In the past decade, Waterstone started from scratch in Wuhan and gradually built its core competitiveness in [the field of] metabolic diseases, especially in developing kidney-specific macromolecule drugs ranging from the R&D of intermediates to enabling mass production,” said Zhang Faming, founder and chairman of Waterstone, in the statement.

“The proceeds from the investment will be used to increase the production of APIs of our major polymer drugs, and to speed up the global clinical development of innovative medicines,” said Zhang.

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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.