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Week in Review: BeiGene Plans $2.5 Billion IPO on Shanghai Star Exchange

publication date: Nov 21, 2020
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Deals and Financings

BeiGene (NSDQ: BGNE; HK: 06160) is planning an IPO on the Shanghai Star Exchange that could raise up to $2.5 billion (see story). The Beijing company is already listed in Hong Kong and the US, and it raised $2.1 billion in a secondary offering on the Hong Exchange in July of this year. Now ten years old, BeiGene is spending big to conduct clinical trials for drug approvals and additional indications for its products. At the end of Q3, the company has $4.7 billion of cash in hand, but it lost $560 million in the first nine months of 2020 on revenues totaling $371 million.  

Shanghai Antengene (HK: 6996), a three-year old oncology company, completed a $340 million IPO in Hong Kong (see story). The company, which was originally backed by Celgene, said the offering was significantly oversubscribed. Antengene has built a portfolio of 12 first-in-class, only-in-class and best-in-class cancer therapies, six of which have begun clinical trials. It combines in-licensings with internal research. The company says it uses a synergistic approach to "unlock the full therapeutic potential" of its candidates.  

RecBio, a Taizhou company that makes genetically engineered biotech vaccines for major diseases, completed a $227 million Series B round (see story). Founded in 2012, the company is developing recombinant vaccines for human papillomavirus (HPV), zoster, tuberculosis and COVID. RecBio will use the proceeds to build a production base and to conduct clinic tests of its 9-valent HPV vaccine and recombinant COVID vaccine. The funding was led by Legend Capital and Lyfe Capital.  

D3 Bio, a Shanghai startup, raised an impressive $200 million in a Series A financing from well-known China investors with the goal of developing best-in-class precision medicines (see story). The company plans to examine clinical records to find medications with disappointing efficacy, develop more effective treatments and then bring them to global markets. The Series A funding included Boyu Capital, Matrix Partners China, Sequoia Capital China, Temasek, and WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund, among others.  

Shanghai Newsoara Biopharma announced a 5-year strategic partnership with Singapore's AUM Biosciences to co-develop up to six oncology drugs in China (see story). Newsoara paid an undisclosed collaboration fee upon closing, and it will make up to $135 million in milestone payments, plus royalties. In addition, the two companies will co-discover and co-fund novel therapeutics for mutually agreed upon novel targets. Newsoara will own greater China rights for these newly discovered compounds, while AUM will retain worldwide rights (ex-China).  

GenScience Pharma acquired China rights to two long-acting depot delivery devices for prostate cancer from Foresee Pharma (TWO: 6576) of Taiwan in a $132 million agreement (see story). The ready-to-use subcutaneous 6-month and 3-month depot formulations, Camcevi™, which will deliver leuprolide mesylate, are currently under review for approval in the US and EU. GenSci will pay $8 million upfront and up to $124 million in milestones, plus royalties. GenSci is a wholly owned subsidiary of Changchun High-Tech Industry (SHZ: 000661).

Wuxi Biortus Biosciences, a drug discovery CRO, closed a $15 million Series A financing led by Bayland Capital (see story). Biortus will use the funds to build a cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) innovation center to offer structure-based drug discovery services. In 2018, the company launched the first commercial gene-to-structure one-stop-shop cryo-EM platform. It believes cryo-EM  has the ability to transform traditional structural biology methodologies by delivering atomic resolution information on membrane proteins and large protein complexes.  

ChinaBio® Exclusive 

LianBio, a Princeton-Shanghai company, and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) announced an innovative agreement to co-develop and co-commercialize novel pharmaceuticals in Greater China (see story). "We started talking to Pfizer several months ago," said Adam Stone, Chief Investment Officer of Perceptive Advisors, LianBio's parent, in an exclusive interview with ChinaBio® Today. "We didn't have a final structure in mind. We just asked the question, 'How can these two platforms work together in a mutually beneficial way?'"  

COVID-19 Pandemic 

Chris Chen, CEO at Shanghai-headquartered WuXi Biologics (HK: 2269), told a reporter that the CRO/CMO is working on 10 neutralizing antibodies from clients for COVID-19 and one vaccine (see story). Because the candidates are making rapid progress, he expects approval for a COVID-19 antibody treatment either “late this year or early next year.” Meanwhile, Sinopharm said three unapproved China vaccines, two of its own and one from Sinovac, have been administered to one million people in China who face exposure to COVID-19.  

Trials and Approvals 

Beijing's BeiGene (NSDQ: BGNE; HK: 06160) announced China approval to market Xgeva® (denosumab) to prevent skeletal-related events (SREs) in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors or multiple myeloma (see story). Previously, the drug was approved in China for giant cell tumor of the bone (GCTB) in which surgery was not possible. In 2019, BeiGene acquired China rights to Xgeva as part of its $2.7 billion deal with Amgen (NSDQ: AMGN), which included China rights to 23 Amgen oncology assets. 

Alphamab Oncology (HK: 9966) and 3D Medicines filed a China NDA for their partnered anti-PD-L1 therapy as a treatment for MSI-H/dMMR cancer (see story). In a Phase II registration trial, patients with MSI-H/dMMR colorectal cancer experienced an objective response rate of 32%. The patients had previously failed a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan regimen. The results were roughly equivalent to those produced by BMS's Opdivo and Merck's Keytruda. In the US, Tracon Pharma (NSDQ: TCON) partners the candidate with the two China pharmas.  

Suzhou Innovent (HK: 01801) reported its bi-specific fusion protein was effective in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) (see story). The Phase I trial showed the 31 participants were able to read six additional letters in an eye exam following a single treatment. Innovent's IBI302 is a first-in-class recombinant human anti-VEGF and anti-complement bi-specific molecule. The complement system is part of the innate immune response. Although VEGF drugs have revolutionized treatment for AMD, some patients develop resistance to them over time.

Disclosure: none. 


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