Unstoppable growth of Chinese biotechs attracts over $10bn funding

The Chinese pharma sector has already reached $157bn pa in sales volume and is now the second market in the world, following the US. Chinese biotechs benefit from the country’s current development and will raise over $10bn in funding this year. The Chinese pharma industry is focused on “me-too” products, initially developed by large international pharmaceutical groups. However, many China-based companies develop new drugs, such as Zensun, which is about to test in a Phase III clinical trial Neucardin, a novel drug for heart diseases which last month raised $76m in funding. Another interesting case is BeiGene, which in September sold its cancer drug to Celgene for $263m, plus $980m in royalties. The biotech company Chi-Med is co-developing the investigational drug Savolitinib with AstraZeneca. The company is testing (Phase III) another cancer drug as well – Fruquintinib. WuXi Biologics raised a significant $586m with its IPO in Hong Kong, while Zai Lab – also remarkable – raised $172m (Nasdaq). Venture capitals as well operate in China: among these, Fidelity International Ltd, which has launched a $250m fund for Chinese healthcare, is worth mentioning, together with Eli Lilly’s venture capital division, which has invested $500m in China from 2008 to present.

(Source: FT)