Jacobio Pharmaceuticals, a New Member of China's Top Pharmaceuticals League
On December 6, 2018, Betta Pharmaceuticals(Betta Pharma, 贝达药业) announced that its new antineoplastic drug BPI-17509 and BPI-17509 pill’s clinical trial has been approved by CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration). As Betta Pharmaceuticals “incubated” biopharmaceutical company, Jacobio Pharmaceuticals(Jacobio, 加科思)’ first-in-class antineoplastic drug JAB-3068’s clinical trial plan is under CFDA’s review, though the plan has already been approved by the US FDA in January 2018.
Jacobio’s core team was originally the core team of Betta Pharma. WANG Yinxiang(王印详), the chairman, and HU Shaojing(胡邵京), the president, both left Betta Pharma in two months after its IPO in HKSE in 2017. In recent two years, Betta Pharma’s stock price has declined from the highest HKD 80 to current HKD 37, and so has the profits. Jacobio secured its series C funding in amount of USD 55 million led by Hillhouse VC and Qiming VC in August 2018. Pharmaceuticals is one of the most sophisticated modern science and with extremely high entrance bar. Two Jacobio core team members mentioned above all hold bio-medical related doctorates and Wang is even a member of the Chinese Thousand Talents Program.
Jacobio as a rising star in the biopharmaceutical industry, is in a leading position in cancer and infection therapy’s R&D. Besides its own R&D projects, Jacobio is willing to incubate other clinical research groups to advance the development of biopharmaceuticals.
Asia has 60% of the population and is the biggest potential market for pharmaceuticals. In the past, Japan was the only pharmaceuticals leader in Asia, but times changes. China has boosted the pace in pharmaceuticals development with government funding and encouraging policies along with progressive improvements in IP(intellectual property)-protection legislation. Meanwhile, the heat of pharma-investing activities has gone up and the pharmaceutical market has been increasing beyond expectations. 90% of the international biopharmaceutical companies have the willingness to enter China or expand the exited business.
With giant customer base, domestic biopharmaceutical companies like Betta Pharma and Jacobio with preferred government policies are in advantage in competition. Considering the sophistication of pharmaceuticals, CFDA is as harsh as any other countries’ FDA in reviewing and audition. Hence, though with tremendous potentials, biopharmaceuticals industry is involved in a long-run competition with capital burning and talents’ participation. All investors must be patient enough to realize returns. Recall the 2008 financial crisis, capital chain ruptures caused numerous pharmaceutical startups being merged and bankrupted. Sufficient funding is the guarantee for pharmaceuticals R&D, which is the core driven productive force in any pharmaceutical companies. As capital market cools down in 2018, and the winter might be waiting ahead again for pharmaceutical startups.