DUBLIN – Investment in European biotechnology slowed dramatically during the second quarter, as the funding frenzy of the first three months of the year gave way to a very solid but a less spectacular performance. Collectively, European firms engaged in drug discovery and development raised $3.358 billion in disclosed transactions during the second quarter, down 46% from the $6.195 billion raised during the first quarter.
Beigene Ltd. got the green light for an IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Science and Technology Innovation Board, a specialized board known as the STAR Market, that could be worth around $3 billion. It would make Beigene the first biotech company with listings in the U.S., Hong Kong and mainland China.
Arrivent Biopharma Inc. has raised a series A financing worth up to $150 million to in-license compounds from China and bring them to the rest of the world. Arrivent’s focus is in oncology and its first in-licensed asset is furmonertinib, a third-generation EFGR tyrosine kinase inhibitor from Shanghai-based Allist Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.
Silicon Valley-based Social Capital and New York investor Suvretta Capital have priced upsized IPOs for four new special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), each intended to address what founders Chamath Palihapitiya and Kishen Mehta described as "suboptimal" outcomes for biotech IPOs of late. Each blank check company, Biotech SPAC Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I, II, III, and IV, will be funded by a $220 million offering, selling shares at $10 each. They intend to invest in neurology, oncology, immunology, as well as diseases of the heart, kidney, endocrine system and blood.
Hutchmed Ltd., already listed in the U.S. and London, returned to home soil June 30 for a third IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that reaped HK$4.17 billion (US$537.2 million). The Hong Kong-based company is currently looking to score its first FDA approval to tap the U.S. market after three China approvals.
PERTH, Australia – Startup Currus Biologics Pty Ltd. has launched with a AU$10 million (US$7.5 million) series A round with the mission of improving the success of CAR T-cell therapies against solid tumors such as breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers.
Sanofi SA is to invest around €400 million (US$477 million) annually into a vaccines mRNA Center of Excellence, as the company plays catch-up with upstart biotechs Biontech SE and Moderna Inc. Despite its high-profile Sanofi Pasteur vaccines unit, the French pharma was left behind in the race to develop COVID-19 vaccines after the two biotechs got their mRNA shots through trials and approved by regulators in record-breaking time.