2022 has been a tough year for most of the pharmaceutical companies but cold winter will pass eventually. We at EqualOcean presented the 2022 year-in-review in two parts. In the first part, we will list major financing and IPO news. It's by no means exhaustive, but it'll shed some light on what's to come.
On this part, EqualOcean tracked the major funding rounds or industry events that took place in China’s healthcare space in 2022. And the following are collected financing events worth more than USD 100 million or CNY 400 million classified by starups operating segment.
1. Biotech Company
Biopharmaceutical Company Taibang Biologic Secures USD 300 Mn in Series A
Taibang Biologic, a biopharmaceutical company providing a comprehensive range of plasma-derived products, had raised a USD 300 million Series A financing round on August 2, 2022. This fundraising was led by sovereign wealth funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Singapore’s GIC, with participation from China Life Private Equity Investment and Xinda Kunpeng Investment. Proceeds will further optimize the Group’s capital structure, which will help solidify its leading position in the domestic market and attract more stable and extensive resources to support the expansion of plasma stations and the R&D of new products, thereby allowing the Group to achieve more rapid and sustainable growth in the China market.
Biotech Company Sironax Raises USD 200 Mn in Series B
Sironax, a biotech company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel degenerative disease therapies, completed a USD 200 million Series B round of financing on August 2, 2022. The round was led by Gaorong Capital and Yunfeng Capital, with participation from existing investors including Temasek, Invus, F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads, ARCH Venture Partners, K2 Venture Partners and lead investors from previous financings. In addition to the co-leads, new investors include MSA Capital, CBC Group, Long River Investments, LSV Capital, Superstring Capital, and Future Innovation Fund as well as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). With the closing of this round, the Company has raised over $300 million to date. Sironax plans to use the proceeds to support the ongoing clinical development of its portfolio of receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) inhibitors in addition to the continued expansion of its R&D footprint and pipeline of potential best- and first-in-class candidates for age-related degenerative diseases.
Biotech Company Cloudbreak Nets USD 130 million in Series C
Cloudbreak Pharmaceutical, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focusing on ocular drug development, raised USD 130 million in a Series C financing round on January 1, 2022. This investment was led by Dinghui Baifu, with participation from GTJA Investment, DYEE Capital, CCB International, EFung Capital and other investors. Proceeds will be used to advance drug candidates to carry out clinical trials, product registration, and commercialization, while also build GMP pilot production platform and improve production capacity that integrates with international standards and team construction.
Biotech Company InnoRNA Raises USD 120 Mn in Series B
Innorna, a biotech company specializing in mRNA drugs and delivery vector technology, had completed a USD 120 million Series B financing round on May 28, 2022. This investment was led by CDH Investments, HHF Capital and Huaxing Medical Treatment Industry Fund, with E Fund Asset Management, BOCG, CPE and Optimas Capital also taking part. Proceeds will be used to develop its mRNA candidates that include vaccines for preventing rare and infectious diseases along with therapeutic mRNA products. Founded in 2019 by Linxian Li, InnoRNA uses its lipid nanoparticle formulation technology as a carrier vehicle to protect mRNA from degradation and provide intracellular delivery of the mRNA.
Biotech Firm Bluepha Secures CNY 1.5 Bn in Series B
Chinese Biotech company Bluepha announced the completion of an extended round that brought the overall fundraising scale in its Series B round to CNY 1.5 billion on January 10, 2022, as the startup continues to bring eco-friendly synthetic biology solutions to various sectors. With the closing of this round, Bluepha had raised a total of about CNY 630 million from a Series B1 round in February and a Series B2 round in August 2021. The Series B financing funds will be used to advance construction and operation for the biodegradable material PHA, the development and deployment of Synbio OS, an Industry 4.0 synthetic biology R&D platform, and the implementation of new product pipelines such as regenerative medicine materials and engineered probiotics.
Biotech Firm Trinomab Raises CNY 750 Mn in Pre-IPO Round
Trinomab, a fully native human monoclonal antibody (mAb) drug developer, completed a pre-IPO funding round worth about CNY 750 million on November 29, 2022. This round was jointly led by Zhuhai Gree Financial Investment Management Co., Ltd. and Kingray Capital, with the participation from Efung Capital, Shenyin & Wanguo Investment, Zhuhai Shenhonggejin Medical and Health Industry Investment Fund, Jiaxing Weilong Equity Investment, and other investors. Existing shareholders China Medical System, Wuxi Guolian Capital and Jinhang Group continued to invest. Proceeds will be used to promote its existing pipeline of drug candidates. Trinomab also intends to invest in manufacturing facilities and the expansion of marketing and distribution channels.
Biopharmaceutical Company Worg Bags CNY 400 Mn in Series B
Worg, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for allergic and autoimmune diseases, announced its completion of the Series B financing round worth nearly CNY 400 million on September 14, 2022. The round was jointly invested by Junson Capital, Lapam capital, Kaitai Capital, Puhua Capital and Anji Ruixing Capital. CEC Capital and CITIC Securities served as the financial advisors for this round. Proceeds will be used for the clinical development of core products and team construction. Worg also plans to speed up the R&D process of other pipelines to provide safer and more effective drugs that patients need.
Biotech Company Frontera Therapeutics Secures USD 160 Mn in Series B
Frontera Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company that seeks to develop novel and best-in-class gene therapy medicines to improve the lives of patients across multiple disease areas, successfully completed a $160 million Series B funding round on July 19, 2022. The round was led by Boyu Capital and Sequoia China, joined by existing investors including OrbiMed and Creacion Ventures, and new investors such as Loyal Valley Capital and Starr Investment. With the closing of this round, the Company has raised over $195 million to date.
Gene Synthesis Provider Tsingke Biotechnology Nets Over CNY 400 Mn in Series B
Tsingke Biotechnology, a high-tech enterprise in synthetic biology, announced that it had completed a Series B funding round worth more than CNY 400 million on December 5, 2022. This funding round was led by Henan Investment Group Huirong Fund Management and Fortune Capital, with participation from Capitallink, Qingsong Fund, Zhongyuan Asset, and Jolmo Capital. Glory Capital and WinX Capital acted as the financial advisors. Proceeds will mainly be used for the R&D investment of Tsingke’s gene factory, the upgrading of its technology platform, the talent expansion, and the advancement of global deployment, aiming to build an intelligent and automatic production platform that meets global standards.
2. CXO Company
CRO Company ClinChoice Raises USD 150 Mn in Series E
ClinChoice, a full service clinical-stage CRO providing integrated one-stop clinical development services, announced the successful completion of its USD 150 million Series E round financing on July 5, 2022. The investment was led by Legend Capital, co-invested by Taikang Life Insurance, Sherpa Healthcare Partners and existing shareholders, including Lilly Asia Ventures and Apricot Capital. Proceeds of the financing will be used to fund the company's innovative service offering worldwide and continued business expansion through internal growth and M&A.
CDMO Company ZhenGe Biotech Nets USD 100 Mn in Series C
Chinese contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) major Shanghai ZhenGe Biotechnology had raised USD 100 million in a Series C round on January 12, 2022. This funding round was co-led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Sofina, with the participation from Novo Holdings A/S, Qiming Venture Partners, IDG Capital, Lyfe Capital, GT Capital and Cowin Capital. ZhenGe is a CDMO company offering end-to-end drug discovery and development services for biotech and pharma companies. It has raised an aggregate of USD 225 million to date. This funding will be used to advance its R&D capabilities and expand the good manufacturing practice (GMP) capacity to meet local and global demand.
3. Medical Device Company
IVD Company Virtue Diagnostics Raises USD 100 Mn in Series B
Virtue Diagnostics, an innovative in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) company, had raised USD 100 million in its Series B round on January 6, 2022. This funding round was jointly led by Sequoia Capital China and Morningside Ventures, with the participation from Oriza Holdings and existing investors Lilly Asia Ventures and PKI Ventures. HAOYUE Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor. Virtue Diagnostics is a global, platform-based IVD company focusing on providing affordable clinical solutions at all disease stages including very early screening, initial diagnosis, treatment monitoring and minimal residual disease management. Proceeds will be used to bring IVD products to selected emerging markets.
Fourth‐generation Sequencing Technology Company Axbio Raises USD 100 Mn in Series B
Axbio, a sequencing devices and diagnostic equipment provider, completed a Series B funding round worth nearly USD 100 million on June 20, 2022. The investment was co-led by CICC&AstraZeneca and Yunfeng Fund, with participation from other investors including Cambridge Capital, SDIC China Merchants, and Wuyuan Capital. Axbio will use the fund to optimize the sequencing technology, build the production base, and speed up the development and commercialization of its gene sequencing technology.
Digital Dentistry Solution Provider SprintRay Raises Over USD 100 Mn in Series D
SprintRay, a Digital Dentistry Solution Provider, announced that it had completed over USD 100 million in a Series D financing round on October 10, 2022. Softbank Vision Fund II led this round, followed by Yiheng Capital and Zhongwei Capital, as well as long-term backers Chende Capital and Yuanyi Capital. Founded in 2013, SprintRay provides digital chairside solutions for dental institutes. Using its newfound capital, the firm plans to build out its business beyond its traditional US and European target markets to generate more sales in Southeast Asia
Surgical Devices Provider Decans Medical Secures CNY 500 Mn in Series B
Decans Medical, developer of high-performance orthopedic implant and surgical technology systems, received CNY 500 million on February 21, 2022. The round was led by Hangzhou Smart Healthcare Industry Fund, with participation from new investors including Lanshan Investment, Shouzheng Zefu, Morning Spring Venture, and Gongqingcheng Yongqian Investment, following long-term backers Zhejiang Haibang Investment Management and Hangzhou Honda Junhe Asset Management. With the corpus raised, Decans plans to fuel its projects in the pipeline in areas of manufacturing, and expand sales, marketing, product innovation, and digitalization.
EqualOcean selected 15 financing events worth more than USD 100 million or CNY 400 million: 9 biotech companies including Taibang Biologic, Sironax, Cloudbreak, InnoRNA, Bluepha, Trinomab, Worg, Frontera Therapeutics, and Tsingke Biotechnology; 2 CXO companies including ClinChoice and Zhenge Biotech; 4 medical device companies: Virtue Diagnostics, Axbio, SprintRay, and Decans Medical. Among 15 financing rounds, Series A accounts for 6.67% with the total funds reaching CNY 2.01 billion (USD/CNY=6.67). Series B accounts for 60.00% with the total funds reaching CNY 7.36 billion. Series C occupies 13.33%% with the total funds reaching CNY 1.54 billion. Series D occupies for 6.67% with the total funds reaching CNY 670 million. Series E accounts for 6.67% with the total funds reaching CNY 1 billion. Pre-IPO accounts for 6.67% with the total funds reaching CNY 750 million.
ADC Company Lepu Biopharma Raises HKD 804 Mn in Hongking IPO
On Feburary 23, 2022, Lepu Biopharma has successfully listed and commenced dealings on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. Lepu Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on oncology therapeutics. It has three synergistic core technology platforms around its pipeline specializing in ADC technology, antibody discovery and advanced process and analytical development. The net proceeds received are estimated at approximately HKD 804.2 million, which are intended for funding the core products, funding the other key clinical-stage drug candidates and the key pre-clinical drug candidates, acquiring potential technologies and assets and expanding our pipeline of drug candidates, including discovery of new drug candidates and business development activities.
Vaccine Developer Recbio Raises HKD 765 Mn in Hongkong IPO
Vaccines developer Recbio Technology, which specialized in the R&D and commercialization of subunit vaccines with a focus on HPV vaccine candidates, had raised HKD765 million in a Hong Kong stock exchange IPO on March 31, 2022. Recbio sold almost 30.9 million shares at a price of HKD 24.8 apiece and raised HKD 765 million in total. Recbio plans to use about half the proceeds to support development and commercialization of its HPV vaccines, including its lead asset, a phase III recombinant HPV 9-valent vaccine REC-603. The company also plans to set up an HPV manufacturing facility in Taizhou, China.
Winsunny Pharma Raises CNY 1.75 Bn in A-share Listing IPO
Winsunny Pharma, which specilizaed in the R&D and commercialization of medical devices and medicinal products, had raised CNY 1.75 million in a A-share listing IPO on June 30, 2022. Winsunny sold 1.2 billion shares at a price of CNY 14.62 apiece. Founded in 1999, Winsunny has a rich product portfolio targeting cardiovascular system, digestive system, mental nervous system, and gynecological system, as well as humidification and oxygen inhalation devices. Proceeds will be mainly used in the high-tech pharmaceutical industrialization construction, innovative drug and generic drug R&D and R&D center construction, which will help Winsunny build its competitive advantage in terms of capacity and innovation.
United Imaging Healthcare Debuts after Biggest STAR Market IPO of 2022
On August 22, 2022, United Imaging Healthcare, a leading global medical imaging and radiotherapy equipment company, began trading on the STAR market. As of press time, United Imaging Healthcare shares were issued at a price of CNY 109.88 apiece, then the shares saw a rise of 72.91%, reaching CNY 189.99 per share, representing a market cap of over CNY 150 billion. United Imaging Healthcare expects to use the net proceeds from the STAR Offering to fund its R&D of next-generation products, including high-end medical imaging equipment. Part of the funding will also go to industrialization projects and marketing service network projects, and serve as supplementary operating capital.
Bio-pharmaceutical Company RemeGen Raises CNY 2.6 Bn in the STAR IPO on Shanghai Stock Exchange
RemeGen, a biotech company with a deep portfolio of antibody and dual therapies, completed a CNY 2.6 billion IPO on the Shanghai Star Exchange on March 31, 2022. Founded in 2008, RemeGen is committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative biologic drugs of significant clinical value in the key therapeutic areas of autoimmune, oncology and ophthalmic diseases. Proceeds will be used in the industrialization of biologics, R&D of Anticancer Antibodies, R&D of Antibodies Targeting Autoimmune and Ophthalmic Diseases, and working capital projects.
InnoCare Pharma Raises CNY 4 Bn in the STAR IPO on Shanghai Stock Exchange
InnoCare Pharma, a leading biopharmaceutical company for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, announced that it had successfully listed on the STAR Market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange on 2 August, 2022, which enabled InnoCare Pharma to become the double-listed biotechnology company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the STAR Market. InnoCare Pharma is a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing, and commercializing first-in-class and/or best-in-class drugs for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. It aimed to raise CNY 4 billion from the STAR Offering to fund its drug research and development, drug R&D platform upgrade, marketing network upgrade, information technology upgrade and working capital projects.
Hospital Group Huaxia Eye Raises CNY 3.1 Bn in the ChiNext IPO on Shenzhen Stock Exchange
On November 7, 2022, the second largest privately-owned eye care hospital group Huaxia Eye has publicly offered 60 million IPO shares at CNY 50.88 per share and raised funds of CNY 3.1 billion. Founded in Xiamen, Huaxia Eye principally engages in provision of eye specialist medical services and builds business presence in 17 provinces and 46 cities. Proceeds will be mainly used for Tianjin Huaxia Eye Hospital construction, regional optometry center construction, medical service upgrade, IT system construction and operating capital projects.
First SMO Company ClinPlus Raises 702 Mn in the ChiNext IPO on Shenzhen Stock Exchange
On May 17, 2022, site management organization (SMO) company ClinPlus has completed IPO on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and publicly offered 15 million shares, including 15 million IPO shares offered at CNY 46.8 per share and raising funds of CNY 702 million. ClinPlus provides clinical studies big data modeling, preliminary feasibility research, research center identification, screening evaluation estimate, test point start, on site execution, and other services. Its customers include Hengrui, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Bayer, AbbVie and other well-known domestic and overseas pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies. ClinPlus plans to use the proceeds to fund its clinical site expansion, big data modeling platform, headquarters base construction and working capital projects.
In 2022, the number of pharmaceutical IPOs decreased compared to 2021 with most of the companies targeting innovative drugs, CXO and medical devices. Boosted by supportive policy and accumulated experiences, innovative drugs companies have been continuously advancing in these years. Many companies have raised funds and listed on the stock market such as InnoCare Pharma, Lepu Biopharma and Innocare Pharma. Proceeds are mainly used to expand business and advance innovative drug R&D. Meanwhile, medical device companies such as United Imaging Healthcare are also active players in the stock market, which represents the development of domestic medical devices. The listing of generic durg company Winsunny Pharma means the generic drug industry has entered into a mature stage with competitive advantages.