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Week in Review: BeiGene Raises $3.5 Billion in Shanghai STAR Board IPO

publication date: Dec 4, 2021
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Deals and Financings

Beijing's BeiGene (NSDQ: BGNE; HK: 06160) announced its Shanghai STAR Exchange IPO will raise $3.5 billion in gross proceeds for the company, more than the predictions of $3 billion (see story). It is the third listing for the company, following NASDAQ and Hong Kong IPOs. The STAR Board shares, which represent 8.6% of BeiGene's total outstanding shares, are expected to begin trading on December 15. BeiGene develops medicines that are novel, affordable and improve treatment of serious diseases. Its portfolio includes more than 40 clinical candidates.  

Suzhou Abogen Biosciences, an mRNA company, raised $300 million to support development of its COVID-19 vaccine and other drug candidates (see story). In August, Abogen completed a very large $720 million C funding. The company is focused on nucleic acid-based (RNA and DNA) therapeutics for cancer and infectious diseases. Its COVID mRNA vaccine was originally discovered by China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) and partnered with Abogen. The new $300 million raise, considered a C+ round, was led by SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund and 5Y Capital.  

Ablaze Pharmaceuticals, a Shanghai-San Diego company, closed a $75 million Series A round for China development of innovative targeted radiopharmaceutical therapies (TRT) against tumor targets (see story). Ablaze was founded by RayzeBio, a San Diego company that also focuses on TRT candidates. Ablaze will bring RayzeBio's products to China along with products from other companies. The A round was co-led by Vivo Capital and AdvanTech Capital with participation from RAYZ Investments and others.   

SanReno Therapeutics, a China joint venture, was formed by Chinook Therapeutics (NSDQ: KDNY) and an investor syndicate led by Frazier Healthcare Partners and Pivotal bioVenture Partners China (see story). The syndicate invested $40 million for a 50% stake in the JV, while Chinook contributed two kidney disease precision medicines for the other 50%. Chinook develops novel kidney candidates via its single cell RNA sequencing, human-derived organoids and new translational models. SanReno has exclusive rights to Chinook's atrasentan and BION-1301 in Greater China.  

Nanjing Help Therapeutics completed a $25 million Series C financing to develop its stem cell programs for heart failure and oncology immunotherapies (see story). The company says its induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology offer a better alternative for cell therapies than current manual manufacturing systems. Help Therapeutics will use its iPSC technology to conduct heart cell injection trials and to start clinical trials of an immune cell therapy next year. The C round was led by Ming Bioventures and included Share Capital, Beisen Medical Fund, and Jolmo Capital.  

Shanghai ITabMed announced it has completed the spin-off from Evive Biotech of the iTAb™ (immunotherapy antibody) platform and closed a $20 million Series A-round financing (see story). Earlier this year, Evive (formerly Generon BioMed) and Dr. Xiaoqiang Yan formed ITabMed as a joint venture with full support from Evive. The JV will focus on continued development of oncology immunotherapies derived from the iTAb™ platform, which generates bi- or tri-specific T cell engagers. The company has started Phase I trials of two products while other iTAb drug candidates are in preclinical development.  

Hangzhou Sciwind Biosciences in-licensed global rights to Sanofi's portfolio of long-lasting glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonists (see story). Sciwind is a clinical-stage biopharma that is developing three GLP-1 receptor agonist candidates for NASH and other metabolic conditions. Its technologies include oral peptide and inhaled protein therapeutics delivery. Sciwind plans to test Sanofi's candidates in combination with its own molecules. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.  

Trials and Approvals 

Ascentage Pharma HK: 6855) and Innovent Biologics (HK: 01801), two Suzhou biopharmas, announced China approval of olverembatinib for leukemia (see story). Ascentage developed the drug. In July, Innovent acquired shared commercialization rights to olverembatinib in China with Ascentage in a $245 million deal that included a $100 million Innovent investment in Ascentage. Olverembatinib, a potentially best-in-class drug, is China's first third-generation BCL-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed to treat TKI-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia.  

Suzhou Tot Biopharm (HK: 1875) announced that its Avastin biosimilar, Pusintin® (bevacizumab injection), has been approved to launch in China (see story). It was proved to be clinically equivalent to Avastin a head-to-head comparisons in patients with advanced, metastatic or recurrent non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer and patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Pusintin® is Tot's first antibody drug approved for marketing. Avastin is approved for six indications in China, and Pusintin will be approved for all six by extrapolation.  

Hangzhou Lynk Pharma started a China Phase II trial of a targeted kinase inhibitor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (see story). The company believes LNK01001 has best-in-class potential for autoimmune disease indications. The Phase II trial is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LNK01001 in patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis who have poor response or intolerance to conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs). Lynk has a US partner for LNK01001 that has not been disclosed.

MingMed, a Guangzhou biopharma, has been approved to start US clinical trials of its small-molecule HPK1 inhibitor for cancer immunotherapy (see story). The company says HPK1 promotes exhaustion of tumor immunity. By targeting HPK1, PRJ1-3024 is designed to regulate several varieties of immune cells and activate their synergistic anti-tumor effects. MingMed has developed novel therapies in the fields of ophthalmology, medical aesthetics, immuno-oncology and gene editing-based immunotherapy. It has 10 products in its R&D pipeline, most of them first-in-class medications for unmet medical needs.  

Disclosure: none. 




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