Week In Review: Junshi Signs $1.1 Billion Deal For US-Canada Rights To PD-1

Dna, Genetic Material, Helix, Proteins, Biology

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Deals and Financings

  • Beijing InnoCare (HK: 09969) announced it raised $407 million in private placements with two Hillhouse Capital subsidiaries and Vivo Opportunity Fund (see story). The new shares represent 14% of InnoCare's outstanding shares post-investment, valuing the company at $2.9 billion. The Hillhouse affiliates bought 90% of the new shares. InnoCure is developing 10 candidates aimed at malignant tumors and autoimmune diseases with trials under way in China and the US.
  • Syapse, a San Francisco company that collects clinical cancer data, closed a $68 million growth equity investment led by China's Ally Bridge Group (see story). Syapse describes itself as a real-world evidence company that aims to improve the delivery of precision medicine. Its Syapse Learning Health NetworkTM partners with community health systems to identify precision medicine strategies that improve clinical outcomes. The financing included Northpond Ventures and existing investors.
  • Nantong Lianya Pharma, a division of Novast, completed a $62 million funding that was led by Highlight Capital, with participation from Shiyu Investment (see story). The company has 40 US-approved difficult-to-make generic drugs including over 30 hormone products and nine oral controlled-release drugs. Lianya is applying for China approvals of the drugs. One year ago, it raised $140 million in private equity led by Legend Capital. Founded in 2005, Lianya focuses on drug delivery/extended release formulations of generics.
  • Shanghai Junshi Bio (HK: 1877) will make a $50 million strategic investment in Coherus BioSciences (CHRS), a San Francisco area biosimilar commercialization company (see story). Yesterday, Coherus announced it would acquire US-China rights to Junshi's anti-PD-1 antibody (and several other candidates) in a deal worth up to $1.1 billion, including a $150 million upfront payment to Junshi. At the time, nothing was said about the $50 million Junshi investment in Coherus. Junshi's Tuoyi (toripalimab) is the first China-developed anti-PD-1 antibody approved in China.  
  • Beijing neoX Biotech completed a $30 million Series A Financing for its AI drug discovery platform (see story). The company combines AI and biophysics to discover and develop macromolecular drugs and multi-specific drugs, especially immunoncology therapies, with a particular interest in protein-protein interactions. The A round was co-led by Sky9 Capital and 5Y Capital. Bertelsmann Asia, Vertex Ventures, and existing investors Vision Plus Capital and Sequoia Capital China also participated.
  • Suzhou's Adagene will license its SAFEbody™ technology platform, which generates masked versions of monoclonal antibodies, to Exelixis (EXEL) for use in Exelixis’ ADC preclinical pipeline (see story). Exelixis will make an upfront payment of $11 million to Adagene and will have the ability to nominate two targets during the collaboration. Adagene will be eligible for development and commercialization milestones, as well as royalties on net sales of any developed products. Exelixis is headquartered in Alameda, CA.
  • Sequoia Capital China and Illumina (ILMN) will partner to launch a genomic incubator in China to nurture genomic startups that have potential to develop breakthrough technologies (see story). The incubator will join two similar Illumina entities, one in San Francisco and the other in Cambridge, UK. The Shanghai lab will offer two six-month funding cycles per year. During incubation, companies will have access to investment and business guidance from Sequoia, plus access to Illumina sequencing systems, reagents, and genomics expertise, The first cycle will begin in Fall 2021.
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