Week In Review: CICC Capital Closes $229 Million China Fund For Biologics

Deals and Financings

CICC Capital closed a $229 million investment fund for biologics, with investments coming mainly from Chinese organizations inside and outside the biopharma industry (see story). In November of last year, CICC teamed up with AstraZeneca (AZN) to raise up to $1 billion over several years to back China life science startups. Shortly after, CICC announced its own fund, which has now closed slightly above its $213 million goal. Some of the money will go to companies making COVID-19 vaccines and therapies.

Cyagen Biosciences Suzhou closed a $41 million Series B financing that it will use to expand its genetically modified rodent business (see story). The round included investments from funds managed by CMS Capital, two GF Securities entities and Guanghua Investment. Founded in 2011, Cyagen claims to be the world's largest provider of custom-engineered mouse and rat models, offering transgenic, knockout, knock-in, CRISPR, and ES-cell based models. It also offers a comprehensive series of stem cell products for research use, including cell lines, media and differentiation kits.

Invetx of Boston, an animal health biologics company, announced a $15 million Series A financing led by Anterra of Boston and joined by two Invetx collaborators, AbCellear (HK: 2269) and WuXi Biologics (see story). AbCellular is a Vancouver-based company that discovers biotech candidates for partners. WuXi Biologics, a global biologic CDMO based in China, will collaborate with Invetx on development and manufacturing. Invetx plans to apply the breakthroughs of biotechnology to animal health. Its team, which combines staff with human biotech and animal health experience, expects the company will start its first clinical trial this year.

Trials and Approvals

Gilead Sciences (GILD) has started two Phase III clinical trials of remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19 (see story). These randomized, open-label, multicenter studies will enroll approximately 1,000 patients at medical centers primarily in Asian countries. One study will randomize 400 patients with severe cases of COVID-19 to receive either five or 10 days of remdesivir. The second trial will randomize 600 patients with moderate disease to receive five or 10 days of remdesivir or standard of care alone.

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