DUBLIN – Even by any normal measure of European biotechnology investment, the first two quarters of 2020 were memorable. If it maintains the present momentum, Europe’s drug development sector is on course for a record-breaking year, having already raised $5.034 billion in publicly disclosed equity investments. That puts it well ahead of any other year – the sector edged to a new high in 2019 when it raised $7.739 billion over the full 12 months – but, of course, comparisons with any other year seem irrelevant. This year is like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything.
DUBLIN – Last year was yet another banner year for European biotechnology firms engaged in drug development. The sector took in $7.739 billion in equity funding in 2019, just edging past the previous high of $7.715 billion it reached in 2018. The second half of the year was a marked improvement on the first half, but that was linked to the timing of a couple of large-scale transactions.
SAN FRANCISCO At what BIO CEO and President Jim Greenwood called a "Dickensian moment in the history of biotechnology arguably the best of times and the worst of times" for U.S. industry players, new rules piloted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) have made things even more challenging. Confusion about CFIUS has led to a decline in Chinese venture capital investment in U.S. biotech and, at some firms, even a pause in cross-border investment as they wait for the dust to clear, experts said.
BEIJING – Biologics developer Hisun Bioray Bio-pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned drugmaker Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., received ¥3.8 billion (US$540 million) from Hong Kong investor PAG for a 58% stake in the company.
BEIJING – The ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has helped put the biotechnology field on the U.S. foreign investment restriction list, causing a chilling effect on the market. With the amount of Chinese money entering the U.S. biotech sector dropping sharply, many believe it is the U.S. that is taking the hit in this sector.
SEOUL – After a decade of steady increases, venture capital (VC) investments in South Korea's biotech sector are more active. But for the country's strategic financial plan to be sustainable, it will have to further strengthen its science capabilities, according to experts at the Korea Bio Investment Conference (KBIC) last week in Seoul.
HONG KONG – Celltrion Inc., of South Korea, and Hong Kong-based conglomerate Nan Fung Group Holdings Ltd. said they have built a joint venture named Vcell Healthcare Ltd., geared toward the Chinese market.
Revolution Medicines Inc., a California-based company developing a small-molecule inhibitor of SHP2 in partnership with Sanofi SA and other programs targeting mutant forms of the key signaling protein RAS, has raised a $100 million series C equity financing led by Boxer Capital LLC, an investment firm funded by British businessman Joe Lewis' Tavistock Group, which has backed financings of companies including G1 Therapeutics Inc., Kura Oncology Inc. and, more recently, Encoded Therapeutics Inc.