Medical funding

Chinese biomedical CRO seals $77m fundraising for R&D push

Animal gene modifier Beijing Biocytogen managed to draw on both government and private capital for its Series D funding round.

Beijing Biocytogen, a contract research organisation which specialises in gene-modified animal models, said it has raised Rmb543 million ($77 million) from a group of government-owned and private investors in its Series D round of funding.

Leading the latest funding round are China Life Healthcare Fund and SDIC Venture Capital, the investment arm of State Development & Investment Corporation. SDIC Venture Capital also invested in the firm’s Series B round of undisclosed amount in 2015 and its $65 million Series C round last year.

Other investors in the latest funding round include CMB International and 3E Bioventures, a Beijing-headquartered healthcare-focused fund. Biocytogen’s management team also participated.

FinanceAsia flagged Biocytogen’s fundraising last month after an exclusive interview with chairman Shen Yuelei. The company was able to close the funding round despite the worsening macroeconomic environment over the last few weeks, which suggests that investors are bullish about its prospects.

“Global spending on pharmaceutical research and development will continue to increase in the future, and the global CRO industry will continue to grow rapidly,” said Zhang Leidi, managing director of China Life Private Equity Investment. “As a leading organisation in the CRO industry, Biocytogen will be able to provide global pharmaceutical companies with integrated R&D services.”

Founded in 2008, Biocytogen has three major businesses, namely gene-modified animal production, preclinical study services focusing on immuno-oncology, and therapeutic antibody R&D services.

The company generates over 1,500 gene modified mouse models and cell lines for its clients every year.

Proceeds from the latest funding round will be used for research and product development, marketing, service upgrades and the construction of a new facility for antibody production.

According to Shen, Biocytogen is looking to go public within the next two to three years.

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