HK-based biotech startup gets venture capital injection

Insilico Medicine wants to speed up the process of drug development with its AI technology - and it is already doing so with the help of WuXi AppTech.

Qiming Venture Partners has led Series B fundraising for Hong Kong-based Insilico Medicine, which hopes to speed up the process of drug development with artificial intelligence.

Insilico Medicine said on Tuesday that it had raised $37 million from a group of investors. Qiming was joined in the round by Lily Asia Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, Baidu Ventures and others.

The Hong Kong government is keen to promote biotechnology and Insilico is capitalising on this enthusiasm. Ever since the Hong Kong Stock Exchange rolled out new regulations to allow unprofitable biotech companies to go public, Hong Kong has become an attractive market for biotech investment.

It is currently the second-largest financing centre for biotech companies in the world. By the end of June, 10 biotech companies were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a market valuation of HK$150 billion ($19.1 billion).

In its budget for this year, the government granted HK$3 billion ($383 million) to the Hong Kong Science Park to build infrastructure for biotech research. Insilico has benefited from this policy too as it is based there. 

As a drug developer that uses artificial intelligence, Insilio said that proceeds would be used to build an industrial platform for drug design and that it would cooperate further with pharmaceutical companies to help develop drugs for cancer, fibrosis, and neurological disorders. 

“The company is an industry leader in the AI-powered drug discovery vertical,” said Nisa Leung, managing partner of Qiming Venture Partners. “We look forward to see it creating synergies with our portfolio companies.”

Insilico is already on the right path. In June last year, it raised $6 million strategic funding from Hong Kong-listed drug R&D company WuXi AppTech and embarked on a strategic partnership to process drug development with AI.

Insilico has offices in six countries and regions in the world. The startup has raised $51.3 million so far, according to Crunchbase.


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