Week In Review: AkesoBio Files For $300 Million Hong Kong IPO

AkesoBio, a Zhongshan novel drug discovery and development biopharma, filed for a $300 million Hong Kong IPO to develop its portfolio of novel mono- and bi-specific antibodies (see story). The company has built a portfolio of 18 mAbs that are in either CMC or clinical stages of development for oncology, inflammation, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. In general, Akeso develops bispecific antibodies using a PD-1 antibody as a backbone. Late last year, Akeso Biopharma closed a $150 million Series D round of financing led by Loyal Valley Capital and Sino Biopharm (HK: 1177).

Shenzhen Lachesis Mhealth raised $21 million in a Series B+ round to support its patient care medical device offerings for hospitals (see story). In 2018, Lachesis completed a $29 million Series B financing. The company's Intelligent Hospital Ward System includes a diagnosis and treatment assistant, wireless monitoring and other services to improve patient care. Lachesis says its product targets the post-acute-care market in general hospitals. Shenzhen Capital Group and ShenZhen GTJA Investment Group both participated in the B+ round; GTJA led the earlier B round.

Shanghai Junshi Bio (HK: 1877) invested $1.4 million in Stemirna Therapeutics, a Shanghai company developing mRNA vaccine therapeutics for cancer (see story). Junshi, which made the investment as part of an A+ round, acquired an 3% stake in Stemirna. The two companies will jointly develop novel drugs and combination therapies Formed in 2016, Stemirna identifies tumor-specific antigens, loading them onto a single mRNA strand. Junshi, which has 13 molecules in development, was the first China company approved to market a PD-1 candidate in China, Tuoyi.

Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

China researchers have filed for a China Invention Patent to remdesivir, a Gilead (Nasdaq: GILD) candidate to treat 2019-nCoV (see story). According to people familiar with China patent law, they are unlikely to succeed because Gilead owns global IP for the molecule and for its use as a coronavirus treatment. The experts further noted the researchers did not file for a Compulsory Use patent, a more "heavy handed" approach that would give China authorities the right to use the drug for a dire need. The experts reasoned the choice shows China does not want to unsettle global IP standards. Instead, as the China researchers noted, if Gilead agrees to supply remdesivir, China would not choose to enforce the patent.

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