Biopharmaceutical firm Elpiscience announced that it has carried out its Series B funding round, worth USD 100 million, led by Hyfinity Investments (汇鼎医疗投资), with participation from Tencent (TCEHY: OTCM), GTJA Investment Group(高特佳投资), Dyee Capital (德屹资本) and other existing investors, such as Lilly Asia Ventures (礼来亚洲基金), Hillhouse Capital Group (高瓴资本) and Parkway Global (鼎晖投资).
In early December 2018, Elpiscience managed to attract a significant amount of capital from Hillhouse – USD 55 million. The latest funding round raised the company's total funding amount to over USD 155 million, accounting for three funding rounds.
Founded in 2018, the Tencent-backed firm is a clinical-stage company focusing on research and development of drugs to treat cancer with immunology. The company also claims to have under development more than 10 innovative molecules which are already in clinical trials.
Healthcare is one of the sectors that is attracting massive capital flows in China; hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into the industry monthly. Recently, after raising a total funding of over USD 300 million, Shanghai biotech I-Mab Biopharma filed for a US Initial public offering, seeking to raise about USD 200 million.
The Chinese government is also playing a crucial role in supporting these high-cost biotech companies, for instance, state-backed China Reform Holding Corporation (中国国新) recently led the USD 110 million funding round of Jiangsu-based Genome firm Geneseeq.
The coming year (2020) might be the year of Biotech companies show their new products and innovation on the market as they have managed to raise a considerable amount of money to boost the R&D area. Investors are eyeing their investments closely; however, such kind of confidence in this industry might be premature, with potential losses reaching billions of dollars. Profiting in companies that require massive capital injections is, without a doubt, the weak point or "beta" factor of any portfolio.
Nevertheless, as the Chinese government is adjusting the market to create a pleasant environment and back these healthcare firms, so the market might return to a more stable "beta" status quo in the future.