I-Mab and TRACON Become Strategic Partners for Immuno-Oncology Programs
On 29 November 2018, I-Mab Biopharma (I-Mab) and TRACON Pharmaceuticals announced strategic partnerships for multiple immuno-oncology programs. I-Mab, founded in 2016, is a China-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company exclusively focused on the development of innovative biologics in immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases.
I-Mab R&D team is led by ZANG Jingwu (臧敬五), a venerable biopharmaceutical scientist that has published papers as the first author on Science and Lancet. Under his leading, I-Mab is under developing biologics in immune-oncology and autoimmune areas. After raising USD 220 million in series C, I-Mab is well-recognized by the capital market.
By far, 30% of the global medicine costs is generated in Asia, and the percentage will increase corresponding to regional healthcare service development. According to WHO’s prediction, the oncological therapy market size will reach USD 150 billion in 2020, which is 40% more than the data in 2015. The increased size is essentially contributed by the ascending number of cancer patients in China and India. In China, 4 million patients will be diagnosed with cancer annually. The uprising demand for cancer therapy pushes the R&D progress of biopharmaceutics companies. TRACON and I-Mab’s cooperation follows the market trend and with funding from both sides, the immuno-oncology programs seem to be a win-win for both China and the US’s tumor patients and biopharmaceutics industry.
Biopharmaceutics are among the most sophisticated achievements in modern science. The complex and huge structure of drugs invented with improvements in lowered side effects and high efficacy. One of I-Mab’s series B’s investor, Tasly Pharma(天士力) is a Chinese pharmaceutical company listed in Hongkong Exchange with a market value of nearly USD 2 billion. Indeed, China’s pharmaceutical market size is expanding. The investment in new drug R&D increases and is yet to satisfy the market. The sophistication of biopharmaceuticals costs accordingly, and the torsion between drug price and drug costs never goes easy. The demand of affordability is a paradox to for move biopharma from the scientific front line into the business mainstream.