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Briefing Jul 6, 2020 11:46 am EqualOcean

NeoX Completes Pre-Series A to Lever AI in Biotech Pharmaceutical

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Sep 10, 2020 11:48 am ·

After China's BNR and GTH Hit Nasdaq, Pan-Cancer Detector GRAIL Eyes IPO

GRAIL, a US biotechnology company focused on early-stage pan-cancer screening, recently applied for an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq. Backed up by the genetic-sequencing giant Illumina (ILMN:Nasdaq), the California-based company aims to find early-stage signs of cancer by examining a small amount of blood. The company raised a total fund of USD 1.69 billion in the previous four rounds, whose investors included Bill Gates and Bezos Expeditions. If the IPO goes smoothly, GRAIL will be the third Nasdaq-listed biotech company based on Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology in the early-stage cancer detection area. Earlier in June, two Chinese companies, Burning Rock (BNR:Nasdaq) and Genetron Health (GTH:Nasdaq), went public on Nasdaq, raising the tide of genetic studies for cancer detection.  The demand for early-stage cancer screening is a universal one, with implications for all parts of a person's life cycle. In China, there is an enormous market potential, one expected to reach USD 170 billion in 2023. The top cancer types vary from country to country – the most damaging kinds in China are lung cancer and digestive systems cancers, while colorectal cancer wreaks havoc in the US. Pan-cancer studies tend to take a longer period to lead to technological breakthroughs. From a technology perspective, different players apply different methodologies. On a timeline logic, all trials can be divided into retrospective and prospective. For early-stage screening, the prospective trials take more time and costs and demand a higher precision requirement. In this money-losing competition, the tremendous future potential is the driver behind all the investments. A key takeaway at this moment is the need to deploy resources and build early business connections for the coming commercialization plans. When the technology is comparable, the marketing and selling area can be a critial success factor. In China's blue-ocean market, Genetron Holdings has already moved ahead, compared to Burning Rock. As indicated in the prospectus, the company has implemented several commercial moves, such as collaboration with hospitals, key opinion leaders (KOLs), commercial insurance service providers and medical examination centers (iKang Healthcare Group).  On top of the research cooperation and market expansion, the company has the ambition of building a to-C business model by co-developing customized insurance products and providing liver cancer early screening services via medical examination chain stops. As shown in the selling and marketing expense ratio, Genetron Holdings has been nibbling the market share of its competitors in China.  

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Aug 23, 2020 08:23 am ·

AI Is Transforming China's Healthcare Industry

► AI healthcare is an inevitable trend across the global, especially in the emerging market. ► Chinese AI healthcare companies are getting more mature, forming the industry landscape. Artificial intelligence, as a fundamental technology, can help power almost any industry. As one of the tier-one countries with the most AI hubs, China is experiencing a national digitalization across many sectors and across multiples disciplines. At the mid-stage of its digital reshaping, the healthcare industry is lit with a limelight that no market watcher can miss. Generally, smart technology helps the healthcare industry grow faster on innovation, and helps it grow smarter in various healthcare services. So far, AI healthcare in China includes ten areas, including drug development, auxiliary diagnostics, auxiliary treatment, health management, rehabilitation, online consultations, health wearables, hospital management, precision medicines and biotechnology research. An inevitable trend: Global and domestic Undoubtedly, the concept of healthcare and AI is exciting to investors. The capital resources can never be too much for players in this area. On a global scale, the healthcare AI funding was up 14% on a QoQ-based CAGR. In China, the funding activities have calmed down to a healthy status since the peak time in 2018, with a total investment amount of CNY 7.9 billion, occurring in 66 deals. Compared to the continuously dynamic global investment environment, China's capital market for healthcare AI seems to have cooled down since last year. The average investment amount per deal is CNY 61.4 million, CNY 181.2 million and CNY 147 million from 2017 to 2019. The first two quarters in 2020 saw 26 transactions completed at a total of CNY 1.8 billion, with an average deal amount of CNY 69 million. There are 129 Chinese AI healthcare companies in 2020, excluding those in targeted genetic research. Among them, 55 firms are in medical imaging, representing 42.6% of the total AI healthcare players. Most of the AI medical applications are based in triple-A hospitals, but they show an accelerated expansion trend. Exploiting various healthcare demand Undoubtedly, AI technology can be leveraged in far more healthcare areas. Medical imaging is just a starter. But how far can AI go down the healthcare path? To have a rough idea about the potential, we can have a general look at the fundamental technology. The AI in China can be dissected into six perspectives: computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, data mining, speech conversion and speech interaction. As the underpinning technology, each angle of AI technology mentioned can vitalize niche healthcare segments on a technical level. Medical imaging and new drug discovery are two heated applications integrated with high-end AI. Besides, from a broader perspective, AI technology helps redistribute medical resources in an innovative way. On the one hand, it makes traditional medical facilities run smarter, faster and more effectively. The smart hospitals project has already been promoted in large-scale Chinese cities, following up on the great demand for electronic records, cloud records, data sharing, and online consultation. On the other hand, cloud technology connects doctors from end to end, making the medical expertise and knowledge more equal across regions. It is a well-known fact that China has a very unbalanced distribution of medical resources – almost 80% of medical resources are aggregated in 20% of hospitals. In contrast, grassroots clinics and hospitals in remote and lower-tier cities significantly lack high-quality supplies. Medical imaging for real-time surgeries makes it so that patients from everywhere consult prestigious expert doctors. Last but not least, one noteworthy fact is the fusion of multi-technologies in a stand-alone medical scenario. It implies that the medical demand for AI technology has been better understood and recognized. These medical demands are not a monolithic request but multi-faceted and technical-solution-demanding questions. The landscape of five primary healthcare segments Many AI healthcare companies have been trying out the market. The segment of medical imaging by far has grown to a heated red sea while other industries are experiencing the infant or booming stage. The AI technology has been used in these ten medical areas: drug development, auxiliary diagnostics, auxiliary treatment, health management, rehabilitation, online consultations, health wearables, hospital management, precision medicines and biotechnology research. However, from an industry perspective, we pick out some example companies in five primary healthcare segments. The AI healthcare is not a new concept anymore. As more companies in this field are eyeing the consumer market, the industry is starting to enter a mature phase. Meanwhile, some online healthcare companies – JD Health, Ping An Good Doctor and Ali Health – have been injecting AI technology into their consumer-oriented services.

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Jul 13, 2020 10:25 am ·

Biotech BeiGene Declares Direct Offering of Close to USD 2.08 Billion

BeiGene, a Beijing-based anti-tumor drug developer, announced the issuance of 145,838,979 ordinary shares in a registered direct offering for particular existing investors, at a part value of USD 0.0001 per share. The commercial-stage biotechnology company expects to gain a gross of approximately USD 2.08 billion and net proceeds of USD 2.07 billion after estimating offering expenses. Since no underwriter engages in the issuance, the company will not pay any underwriting discounts related to this offering. Founded in October 2010, BeiGene has focused on developing and commercializing innovative molecularly-targeted and immuno-oncology drugs. In 2016, it became the first Chinese-born biotech to go public on the Nasdaq with a USD 182 million IPO, after its opening the US office in the Boston area the year before. Later, in August 2018, the company completed a dual listing after a USD 902 million on HKEX. The year of 2019 saw it receive approval for Tislelizumab in China, the first FDA approval for BRUKINSA™ (Zanubrutinib), the inception of a global strategy and completion of Suzhou-based research and Guangzhou-based manufactory. Now it is eyeing another bankroll for further growth. Tislelizumab is a treatment for patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) who have received at least two prior therapies. BRUKINSA™ or Zanubrutinib is a cancer suppressant for treating adult patients with mantle cell lymphoma with prior therapy experience.

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Updated 23 hours ago · Tencent Tech

JD Health’s New Move on Hong Kong IPO

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Sep 18, 2020 10:58 am · VCbeat

Biotech IMAB’s In-Process New Drug Enters Clinical Trials

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Sep 15, 2020 01:58 pm · VCbeat

3D Printing Precision Medicine Industry Park Lands in Hunan

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Sep 14, 2020 06:22 pm · VCbeat

Genor Biopharma Passes the Hearing for Hong Kong IPO

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Sep 10, 2020 12:42 pm · VCbeat

WeMed Secures CNY 100 Mn in Series C+ from GL Ventures

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