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.