Deals and Financings
Luye Medical Group, an affiliate of Luye Pharma (HK: 2186), signed an MOU to bring international healthcare expertise to Chongqing (see story). Luye will commit $300 million to bring up-to-date healthcare to a large healthcare complex being built by the Jiangbei District of Chongqing. Luye will run the complex while the district will provide the facilities. In 2016, Luye Medical closed a $688 million deal to acquire Healthe Care Australia, a chain of 17 Australian hospitals. Despite its recent interest in healthcare delivery, Luye continues to expand its drug business: last month, Luye Pharma acquired the transdermal patch and implant business of Swiss pharma Acino for $269 million.
Shanghai Kyee Technology raised $47 million for its two mobile healthcare applications¸ Quyiyuan and Quyi Hospital (see story): Quyiyuan booked $33 million in a B+ round from SBCVC, HighLight Capital and Baidu. Quyiyuan is an online service that schedules doctor appointments, shows lab test results and accepts payments. Quyi Hospital, a mobile service providing healthcare consults to remote areas, raised $14 million from SBCVC, CDH Venture Partners and other investors. The parent company, Kyee Technology, manages medical records for hospitals.
Shanghai Mab-Venture Biopharma, a three-year old CRO/CMO, raised $35 million in a Series A round led by Prosperico Venture (see story). The company focuses on biologics, including biosimilars, bio-betters and novel biologic drugs. It partners with other companies, both domestic and international, to provide development and manufacturing services, and it is developing it own portfolio of drugs. The company expects to file INDs in the next two to three years. Mab-Venture will use the funds to expand its innovative antibody drug development platforms and production capacity.
BGI, China's large genomics sequencing company (previously known as Beijing Genomics Institute), led a $30 million Series A round in Beijing Gene+ Technology, an oncology gene testing and precision medicine start-up (see story). The funding is said to be the largest in a China precision medicine and liquid biopsy testing company to date. It may also be a first for BGI, which usually forms partnerships rather than making direct investments. BGI has its own diagnostics subsidiary. Green Pine Capital Partners of Shenzhen and Shanghai Huoshanshi Capital also participated.
Singlera Genomics, a San Diego-Shanghai genetic testing company, raised $20 million in a Series A funding from China investors, led by Lilly Asia Ventures (see story). Singlera describes itself as focused on personalized medicine, with interests in cancer diagnosis and non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. Founded in 2014, Singlera has an R&D center in San Diego and a business-clinical operation in Shanghai. The funding was joined by Green Pine Capital Partners, CDBI Partners and others.
Hangzhou Liaison Interactive Information Technology (SHZ: 002280) paid $20 million to acquire a 62% stake in Beijing's Dehaier Medical Systems (NSDQ: DHRM), a medical device maker (see story). Dehaier is transforming itself into a company that provides wearable sleep apnea products in China. Liaison Interactive, a mobile internet product company, will help develop and promote Dehaier's wearable medical devices. In 2014, Dehaier obtained China approval for the Morpheus OX sleep apnea system, developed with Israel's WideMed.
BioLineRx (NSDQ/TASE: BLRX), an Israeli in-licensing company, established a joint venture with I-Bridge Capital, a China VC investor seeking to develop innovative therapies for China (see story). The JV, named iPharma, will look primarily in Israel to license innovative clinical and pre-clinical candidates for China and international markets. BioLineRx has already out-licensed two of its candidates to China companies; it isn't clear if the JV will be BioLineRx's agent in China for additional deals. Each company will invest $1 million in the JV initially.
Lee’s Pharmaceutical (HK: 950) of Hong Kong and Beijing Shenogen Pharma agreed to develop their two separate clinical-stage liver cancer drug candidates as a compound regimen in China (see story). Lee's is currently conducting a Phase III trial of Pexa-Vec, an oncolytic virus; and Shenogen is testing icaritin, a purified traditional Chinese medicine, in a Phase II trial. Lee's and Shenogen said the two drugs have shown synergistic effects in mouse models. Ultimately, the two companies hope to expand the indications for the joint regimen to include other late-stage cancers.
Monvida Pharma, a San Francisco-area oncology company, in-licensed China and Vietnam rights to TumorSelect® Paclitaxel from Cloaked Therapeutics of Mississippi (see story). TumorSelect® Paclitaxel is a nanoparticle reformulation of paclitaxel; Cloaked believes the reformulation will improve paclitaxel's selectivity, improving its efficacy and lowering side effects. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
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