Shanghai Cell Therapy Group (SCTG, 上海细胞治疗集团) has completed CNY 650 million -the equivalent of approximately USD 95 million,- in Series C2 financing at an undisclosed time. Overall, the company has raised more than CNY 2 billion; and major investors are Legend Capital, Haier Capital and China Industrial Asset Management.
SCTG is a high-tech company aiming to provide diagnosis and treatment services through precision medicine technics. SCTG possesses hospitals, R&D centres, clinical immunotherapy centres and a cell bank in Shanghai. The ecosystem drives SCTG with a strong backup and elevates the efficiency in R&D progress, which is the core power of SCTG.
On April 11, 2019, the company's application for the drug-targeted CAR-T cell treatment drug "non-viral vector CD19 CAR-T cell injection (BZ019)" was approved by the Food and Drug Administration of China for clinical trials. This is also the first domestically approved CAR-T cell therapeutic product prepared by a non-viral vector to enter the clinic.
Together with checkpoint inhibitor therapy; CAR-T cell therapy is used to provide immunotherapy for cancer. CAR-T cell therapy aims to transform human T-cells in order for them to recognize tumour antigens and stimulate the immune system to remove cancer cells. Relevant research in the field has entered the commercial market and its efficacy has been postulated several times.
China is lagging behind the United States by the number of immunotherapy products, however, Chinese pharmaceuticals are striving to be competitive.
I-Mab Bio (天境生物), Jacobio (加科思), YuceBio (裕策生物) and Shanghai Cell Therapy Group are the examples of companies in China that are aiming to provide immunotherapy solutions for cancer.
Some of these four companies have already launched their FDA approved clinical stage products, like Jacobio; and all of them are furiously growing.
In 2019, one can expect more immunotherapy company to pull investment; particularly in China. However, regulatory barriers still stand as the major barrier for the near future prospects of the immunotherapy business.