As a new way to treat diseases, gene therapy has higher R&D investment and risk than biochemical drugs. Both pharmaceutical giants and start-ups tend to collaborate with outsourcing service providers, which brings business opportunities to cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs).
Olipharma (Chinese: 欧利生物）has completed a Pre-Series A round of financing worth tens of millions of CNY, exclusively invested by Matrix Partners(Chinese: 经纬创投).
Founded in 2021, Olipharma focuses on providing one-stop-shop CDMO services. The fund will be used for constructing a production platform, which is dedicated to good manufacturing practices (GMP) as defined by ICH for providing nucleic acid active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).
The nucleic acid drugs mainly include antisense nucleic acid (ASO), small interfering RNA (siRNA), and nucleic acid aptamers, which regulate disease gene transcription and expression by acting on messenger RNA (mRNA).
The rapid development of nucleic acid drugs has attracted the keen attention of pharmaceutical enterprises and capital markets.
However, unlike biochemical drugs, nucleic acid drugs keep high-level requirements for the stability of cells and genes. They are sensitive to the environment and are vulnerable to temperature, carbon dioxide concentration, and humidity. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for one-stop-shop CDMOs.
According to Intrado, from 2021 to 2027, the compound growth rate of global CDMO is about 7.5%. With the implementation of the marketing authorization holder (MAH) system and the support of industrial capital, it is expected that CDMOs in China will continue to grow rapidly in the next 5 to10 years and occupy an important position in the global pharmaceutical market.