Venture capital

China-US biotech firm closes $80m Series B funding

Sino-US trade tensions have not discouraged Korean investors from China's booming biotech industry as the cancer immunology specialist completes its Series B funding.

Shanghai and Boston-based oncology therapy provider Oncologie has raised $80 million Series B funding from Chinese and Korean investors.

The round was led by Nan Fung Life Sciences and Pivotal BioVentures China, both subsidiaries of Hong Kong-based Nan Fung Group. A group of Korean investors also joined the round, including Korea Investment Partners, Korea Bank, DSC investment, and Korea-listed Company K Partners.

There was participation too from Chinese investors including Panacea Venture Healthcare, China Summit Capital, Zheshang Industrial Integration and Jiuyou Fund. CEC Capital acted as lead financial advisor.

“Very few Korean investors have experience in investing into China,” Jimmy Wei, managing partner of Pivotal BioVentures China, told FinanceAsia. “But this will change in the future and I can see more Korea investors becoming interested in China deals.”

International investors haven't backed away from Chinese private equity investment despite the tension caused by the US-China trade dispute. And biopharmaceutical investment in particular is  welcomed by international investors as every company faces a global market, instead of that of a single country.

“Our investment should not have borders,” said Charles Li, chief executive of HKEX, at a biotech event last month. 

The welcoming attitude of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has prompted more investment in the sector. And Nan Fung Group has been actively invested in biotech companies in the Greater China region.

Oncologie, which is headquartered in Shanghai and Boston, only began operations last year. It is developing clinical therapy for cancer. Proceeds will be used to advance its global pipeline and its biomarker platform. The firm intends to initiate key clinical trials in the coming months, including a gastric cancer study in the US, UK, Korea and Taiwan.

The company has several other pipeline projects that are in stage two and three of clinical trials.  

Oncologie completed its $16.5 million Series A investment in June last year from Pivotal BioVentures China, CMB International and others.

"We are truly encouraged by the progress already made so far by Oncologie, as well as by the promise of their innovative programs," said Jimmy Wei, managing director for Pivotal BioVenture Partners China Fund. 

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.