Week In Review: China Life Science Starts Off 2019 With $425 Million In Deals

China's life science sector started off 2019 with $425 million from ten deals involving Apollomics, Schrödinger of New York City and BrightGene Bio-Medical of Suzhou, among others.

Apollomics, a Foster City-Hangzhou innovative oncology biopharma, raised $100 million in a Series B financing, led by CMB International, a subsidiary of China Merchants Bank (see story). Previously, Apollomics was known as CBT, the drug development spin-out of cancer CRO Crown Biosciences. In connection with the funding, the company has relocated its headquarters from Hangzhou, where it has R&D and manufacturing facilities, to Foster City, CA. OrbiMed Asia led the first financing of CBT. which was formed in 2016.The B round also included OrbiMed and several new investors.  

Schrödinger of New York City closed an $85 million financing to support its drug discovery platform, which is based on advanced molecular simulations (see story). The funding was led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and WuXi AppTec’s (SHA: 603259; HK: 2359) Corporate Venture Fund. In October 2018, WuXi AppTec formed Faxian Therapeutics with Schrödinger. Faxian will combine WuXi's lead optimization CRO with molecules discovered by Schrödinger's precision molecular design platforms. Faxian was formed to discover novel insights into the chemistry and biology of a target and indication. 

BrightGene Bio-Medical of Suzhou completed an $80 million pre-IPO funding led by Sequoia China (see story). BrightGene develops and makes innovative drugs along with difficult-to-make generic drug APIs and FDFs (finished-dose forms). It its pipeline, BrightGene is developing immunoncology treatments, orally available GLP-1RA peptides for type 2 diabetes, antibody drug conjugates for solid tumors, and novel non-antibody dependent tumor targeting conjugates for brain cancer and solid tumor brain-metastases. 

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