HONG KONG – Beijing Stonewise Technology Co. Ltd., a med-tech firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in the discovery of small molecule drugs, closed series B and B+ financing rounds that added $100 million to its pocket. The company intends to use the proceeds to upgrade its AI-enabled drug discovery platform.
HONG KONG – Bispecific antibody startup Epimab Biotherapeutics Inc. has completed a $120 million series C financing, bringing it closer to a potential IPO next year. The Shanghai-based company said the new funds would help it move EMB-01 into phase II testing this year.
While historical data suggest venture capital rounds will eventually dip below the peak years, biopharma financings completed in recent months indicate the dollars are continuing to climb in 2021. A maturing industry, the high potential of cell and gene therapy products, the advancing technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as an eager financial community, are all responsible for the ever-increasing availability of private money.
Eight months after Beijing-based Yisheng Biopharma Co. Ltd. unveiled its recombinant protein vaccine candidate for COVID-19, YS-SC2-010, the company raised $130 million in a series B round to pave way for the vaccine to enter clinical trials in the second quarter of this year, the company’s CEO David Shao told BioWorld.
It might be difficult to view the past year through anything other than a COVID-shaped hole. But 2020 brought some remarkable and impactful news for the biopharma sector that had little to do with the novel coronavirus. In this end-of-year recap, BioWorld takes a look at some of achievements and trends affecting the industry that were completely unrelated to – or, in some cases, in spite of – the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scineuro Pharmaceuticals, based in Shanghai and Philadelphia, launched with a $100 million series A financing to focus on tackling central nervous system diseases. CEO Min Li told BioWorld the startup is “building a CNS portfolio through a combination of internal R&D and strategic collaborations.” Lilly Asia Ventures Fund and Arch Venture Partners co-led the round.
More than a third of the money raised through biopharma financings in 2020 was raised by companies developing either a therapeutic or a vaccine for COVID-19, yet completely wiping away those totals still leaves the year with $76.8 billion, a full 12% more than the next highest year.
Janpix Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., has raised a $10 million series B designed to progress its monovalent small-molecule protein degraders of STAT3 and STAT5 into final preclinical studies and eventually into the clinic to treat various hematological and solid tumor cancers.