A roundup of the latest news from Chinese biotechs, including a bumper IPO for Legend Biotech, a USD two million tie-up between Roche and Innovent Biologics, and a new Alphamab-Sanofi collaboration on KN026 in HER2+ Breast Cancer.
Fresh off ASCO myeloma data, Legend Bio gets USD 424 million in biotech’s biggest IPO of 2020
Legend Biotech, a Nanjing, China-based developer of cell therapies for cancer, is raising just over USD 420 million in an initial public offering, announcing Friday the pricing of 18.4 million shares at USD 23 apiece. The biotech upsized the offering, or priced shares higher than it had originally planned, a signal of high demand for an IPO. Its total haul easily eclipses the year’s previous top IPOs and marks the largest initial offering in the sector since Danish firm Genmab’s offering in July 2019.
Roche pens USD two billion biobucks pact with Innovent Biologics for bispecific and cell therapies
Roche is licensing out part of its cancer platform to Chinese biotech Innovent Biologics. Innovent gains nonexclusive access to the Swiss major’s cell therapies and bispecific antibodies for both blood and solid cancers. Under the pact, details of which were fairly thin, Innovent will “create, develop, manufacture, and commercialize the products,” while Roche retains an option to license each product for development and sale outside of China.
Alphamab Oncology and Sanofi Enter Collaboration on KN026 in HER2+ Breast Cancer
The strategic collaboration is based on clinical studies to investigate KN026 in combination with Taxotere® (Docetaxel) in HER2+ breast cancer, and Sanofi is granted an exclusivity period to negotiate the in-licensing of KN026 subject to the achievement of certain clinical milestones.
Personalis Announces a Partnership with Berry Genomics for China Expansion
Personalis will be expanding business operations in the People’s Republic of China in 2020, and plans to form a wholly-owned subsidiary in Shanghai. The expansion will include building out a laboratory operation for local customers to use its ImmunoID NeXT PlatformTM, a commercial team to support local customers, and general and administrative functions. Under terms of the agreement, Berry Genomics will provide Personalis certain services and local support.
Everest Medicines of Shanghai Closes USD 310 Million C Round for In-licensed Drugs
Everest Medicines, a Shanghai biopharma, announced a very large USD 310 million Series C round to support clinical trials of its in-licensed candidates. Everest was formed in 2015 with USD 50 million in initial backing led by China’s C-Bridge Capital. At the time, C-Bridge described Everest as its incubator platform for bringing novel drugs to China. Ian Woo, president and CFO of Everest, previously said that Everest’s plan was to acquire China rights to the best drugs of its partners, not assets that were sidelined during development.
MabPlex Raises USD 71 Million for Biopharmaceutical CDMO Services
MabPlex International, a biologics CDMO located in Yantai, completed a USD 71 million Series B financing led by PE firms DT Capital Partners and Huajin Capital. Founded in 2013, MabPlex provides global CDMO services for biopharmaceuticals, including mAbs, recombinant proteins, ADCs and bispecifics. The company offers contract services that range from DNA to finished drug products. Its CHO cell line platform is designed to move candidates quickly through the development process. In early 2019, MabPlex closed a USD 59 million Series A financing from SDIC Venture Fund and Shenzhen Venture Capital, two state-owned investors.