Week In Review: AstraZeneca Announces $1 Billion Fund For China Life Science Startups

Deals and Financings

• AstraZeneca announced plans to raise up to $1 billion to fund China life science startups; CICC will raise the capital and AZN will advise the young biopharmas;
• BeiGene of Beijing announced a $160 million agreement for China/Asia rights to a preclinical Seattle Genetics cancer candidate; 
• Akeso Biopharma, a Zhongshan antibody company, closed a $150 million Series D financing to develop a portfolio of 18 mAbs; 
• Peijia Medical, a Suzhou interventional medical device maker, raised $100 million in a series C funding led by Matrix Partners China;
• Suzhou's Tot Biopharm completed a $66.5 million IPO on the Hong Kong Exchange to support development of novel cancer drugs and biosimilars;
• Sino Medical Sciences staged a Shanghai STAR Exchange IPO, raising $50 million at a market capitalization of $412 million for its medical devices; 
• Genecast (Beijing) Technology closed a $43 million Series D financing to expand its non-invasive cancer diagnostic business;
• Antengene, a Shanghai novel drug biopharma in-licensed global rights to a novel ERK1/2 inhibitor for cancer from AstraZeneca; 
• Nanjing's Simcere Pharma in-licensed greater China rights to a cerebral edema treatment following stroke from Aeromics of New Haven, Connecticut;

Trials and Approvals

• Shanghai Green Valley Pharma announced China approval of Oligomannate, a seaweed-based treatment for Alzheimer's disease that improves cognitive function;
• Bio-Thera Solutions of Guangzhou was approved for a China launch of Qletli®, the first Humira biosimilar approved in China, for rheumatoid arthritis; 
• CANbridge, a Beijing oncology and rare disease biopharma, was approved to market Nerlynx® in China for adjuvant treatment of HER2 breast cancer; 
• Ark Biosciences of Shanghai reported positive topline results from a Phase II study of Ziresovir for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection; 
• Suzhou's CStone Pharma released positive results from a China Phase II trial of its PD-L1 candidate in extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma; 
• Harbour BioMed, a Boston, Rotterdam and Shanghai biopharma, started the first clinical trial of a next-gen anti-CTLA-4 antibody in patients with advanced solid tumors;
• Ascentage Pharma of Suzhou will test its Bcl-2 inhibitor with Henlius' Rituxan biosimilar in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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