Venture capital

China-US biotech startup raises money for flu drug

Lilly Asia Ventures, Oceanpine Capital, Matrix Partners China are betting on Ansun BioPharma to kill the virus on your respiratory tract.

China-US based biotech company Ansun BioPharma raised $80 million in its series B funding round to support the phase three clinical trial for its newly-developed medication, the company said on Monday.

Oceanpine Capital led this round of fundraising. Existing investors including Lilly Asia Ventures, Matrix Partners China, Yuanming Capital and other new investors joined this round of investment. China Renaissance is the financial advisor of the deal.

Ansun develops biologic drugs targeting viral respiratory tract infection. It is in the process of developing a first-in-class medication, called DAS181, to cure lower respiratory infection caused by parainfluenza virus.

Proceeds in the latest funding round will be used for the phase three clinical trial of DAS181. The drug already got the Fast Track approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the US, allowing Ansun BioPharma to speed up the development and approval process to meet the huge demand in the market.

Chinese biotech investors were cautious in the first half of 2019. Total investment amount in healthcare decreased 21% year-on-year in the first half to $4.3 billion, according to a report from healthcare research platform VCBeat. The total number of private equity investment in healthcare projects also dropped 30% year-on-year in the first six months.

Investors also start to look into sub-sectors around the healthcare industry. There is a huge and ageing population in Asia and there are various opportunities in drug manufacturing and development. There are still many opportunities in related business such as equipment production, medical data platform and medical services. Investors are pouring capital and seizing market share in these newly-emerged sub-sectors.

Biotech investment has been increasing in Asia as the application of biotechnology in the pharmaceutical industry has been progressively relaxed over the past few years. Governments around the world are making policies regulating the pharmaceutical sector more aligned, and this has a positive impact on drug R&D. The drug approval process becomes shorter, and there is a convergence on drug reviewing standards.

Ansun BioPharma is in a fast development era of biotech. Respiratory tract affection is one of the most commen diseases we have in life but sometimes it can be leathal if not taken good care of. Ansun is tapping into a market with huge demand. 

The startup completed the Series A fundraising in May last year, raising $85 million from Sinopharm Healthcare, Lilly Asia Ventures and others. Ansun is developing cures to treat both hospitalised influenza and parainfluenza, both of which are areas of unmet medical need that cause thousands of deaths each year around the world.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media