Week In Review: Three $300 Million Deals For China Biopharma

Deals and Financings 

  • China Grand Pharma (HK: 512) announced a $340 million agreement to develop and commercialize Telix Pharma's (TLX) molecularly-targeted radiation products in China (see story). An Australian company, Telix has developed molecularly-targeted cancer imaging and therapeutic radiation products for prostate, renal, and brain (glioblastoma) cancers. China Grand Pharma will make a $25 million upfront payment, invest $25 million in Telix, commit $65 million for clinical development costs, and pay up to $225 million in milestones, plus royalties.
  • Sichuan Clover Biopharma announced the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will underwrite clinical development of its protein-based S-Trimer COVID-19 vaccine with up to $328 million in backing (see story). CEPI has already granted $69.5 million of the total to Clover for preclinical studies, Phase I clinical trials, and set-up for the global Phase II/III trials. In the Phase I trial, the vaccine was found to be safe and effective, though Clover has not yet released detailed data from the test.  
  • JW Therapeutics (HK: 2126), a Shanghai cell therapy company, raised $300 million in its Hong Kong IPO at a market capitalization of $1 billion (see story). In 2016, JW was founded as a JV between Juno Therapeutics of Seattle and WuXi AppTec (HK: 2359) to bring Juno's CAR-T candidates to China. The company's NDA for its lead candidate, an anti-CD19 CAR-T therapy, is under review in China as a third-line treatment for B-cell lymphoma. JW priced its IPO at HK$23.80, the top of the expected range, but it slipped to HK$22 in its first trading session.  
  • CARsgen Therapeutics of Shanghai raised $186 million in a Series C round to develop its portfolio of CAR-T cell therapies (see story). The company has developed 10 CAR-T candidates for different targets. It has started clinical trials for five of them, three in solid tumors and two in hematologic malignancies. In March, CARsgen completed a $60 million Pre-C financing and said it would use the funds to restructure and file for an "overseas" IPO in the near future. The C funding was led by Loyal Valley Capital.  
  • Apollomics, a Foster City-Hangzhou oncology company, completed a $124.2 million Series C financing led by Ping An Capital (see story). The company has six assets in more than ten clinical trials in the US and China. In 2016, Apollomics was spun out of CrownBio's drug development company with the goal of bringing China-developed immunotherapies to the US. It also in-licenses products for development in China and conducts China trials for its own products.  
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