Week In Review: VistaGen Out-Licenses China/Asia Rights For Novel Anxiety Drug To EverInsight In $177 Million Deal

Deals and Financings

  • VistaGen (VTGN) of South San Francisco out-licensed China/Southeast Asia rights for a novel anxiety treatment to EverInsight Therapeutics, a China in-licensing company, in a $177 million agreement (see story). VistaGen's PH94B is a rapid-onset neurosteroid drug candidate for multiple anxiety-related disorders that is ready for Phase III trials. The collaboration between the companies will support Phase III development and commercialization of PH94B in China/Asia markets. ChinaBio® advised VistaGen on the transaction.
  • Beijing's SinocellTech (SHA: 688520) completed a $181 million IPO on Shanghai's STAR Board and nearly tripled in price during its initial trading session (see story). The offering was priced at 25.64 RMB per share and ended its first session at 73.07 RMB, giving SinocellTech a market capitalization of nearly $4.5 billion. Sinocelltech is a biotech company that discovers and develops mAbs, recombinant proteins and vaccine products. 
  • Hangzhou Betta Pharma (SHZ: 300558) signed a $135 million deal to in-license China rights for two immunotherapies from Agenus (AGEN) of Massachusetts (see story). The two candidates are balstilimab, an anti-PD-1, expected to file for US approval this year, and zalifrelima, an anti-CTLA-4. Betta will pay $35 million upfront ($15 million in cash and a $20 million equity investment) plus $100 million in potential milestones, and it will make royalty payments on net sales.
  • Hutchison China MediTech (Chi-Med) (HCM) announced a $100 million private placement of shares to General Atlantic, a growth equity investor (see story). General Atlantic will pay $25 each for the US-listed ADSs, and has an 18-month option to invest another $100 million in Chi-Med at $30 per ADS. Chi-Med's previous closing price was $26.11. The company, which has a market cap of $3.2 billion and $220 million of cash, will use the proceeds to develop its novel seven-candidate portfolio.
  • Genor Biopharma, a Shanghai immunotherapy company, in-licensed rights to a CDK4/6 inhibitor designed to combine with other IO therapies (see story). Genor agreed to a $46 million deal with G1 (GTHX) Therapeutics of North Carolina to acquire Southeast Asia rights (ex-Japan) to lerociclib. The company will pay $6 million upfront and up to $40 million in milestones, plus royalties for the candidate.
  • Simcha Therapeutics, a novel biotech using "directed evolution" to develop immunotherapies based on improved cytokines, raised $25 million in a Series A financing from two China investors -- WuXi AppTec Corporate Venture Fund and Sequoia Capital China (SEQUX) -- along with Connecticut Innovations (see story). The company's lead program is based on a customized variant of interleukin-18 (IL-18), a cytokine designed to have more potent antitumor effects than its natural version.
  • Sophonix (Beijing Meilian Tyco Biotech) closed a $14 million Series B financing led by Zero2IPO Asset Management (see story). Sophonix, which has R&D facilities in Beijing and California, has built a product portfolio of instruments and reagents with independent intellectual property rights. The B round included investments from Delian Capital, Anlong Capital, GoldTech Capital, Mingshi Investment, and ETP.
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