VC Optimism to China: Leading Biologics Company Raises $100m C Round

January 21, 2015

2014 was a banner year for investment in biotech, and there is little sign of decline. With an unprecedented $100m Series C round of financing, Innovent has demonstrated this optimism extends as far as China.

2014 was a banner year for investment in biotech, and there is little sign of decline. With an unprecedented $100m Series C round of financing, Innovent has demonstrated this optimism extends as far as China.

The Chinese biologics company, located 30 minutes outside of Shanghai, is just three years old and has established itself with biologics/biosimilars manufacturing facilities that are compliant with FDA and EMA cGMP standards.

Biotech in China is just getting started, said Yu. This financing will allow the 158-employee company to fulfill its goal to be the leading biotech company in the country, he added.

The C round had tremendous interest and Innovent was able to raise 170% to 180% of its original goal, according to CEO Michael Yu. Beijing-based Legend Capital led the financing, which also included Singapore-based Temasek and two additional investors. Fidelity Biosciences, Fidelity Growth Partners Asia, Lilly Asia Ventures and Frontline Bioventures sponsored Innovent’s earlier rounds.

The financing will enable Innovent to enhance its operation capabilities while progressing its internal pipeline that consists of eight antibody products. The pipeline includes one antibody with IND approval and four for which the company has filed applications, according to the January 22 press release. The company’s pipeline indicates an oncology and inflammation leaning with TNF-α, VEGF, PCSK9, PD-1 listed as some of its targets.

The company’s first clinical project will trial a rituximab biosimilar for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Yu noted that the Chinese regulatory environment has improved a lot including new biosimilar guidelines that will be necessary for Innovent and other Chinese biotechs to flourish.

A company touts that Yu is the only Chinese national to have ever invented and developed two biologic drugs, an impressive feat that bolsters Innovent’s position as China’s biotech leader, but also a sign that the country has some catching up to do.