Jiangsu-based pharmaceutical company CF PharmTech (长风药业) has completed its Series E (Pre-IPO) funding round, worth CNY 630 million (equivalent to USD 90 million). The fundraising was led by Shanghai-based investment firm New Alliance Capital (联新资本), with participation from GT Capital (君信资本), Finnova Investment (源创投资), Co-Stone Asset Management (基石资本) and others.
Founded in 2007, the pharmaceutical company produces products for the treatment of asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and allergic rhinitis (nose inflammation). The latest fundraising pushed the firm's total funding to over CNY 1 billion (equivalent to over USD 143 million).
Over the past years, asthma and COPD medication market have become highly competitive, dominated by US companies such as the listed firms GlaxoSmithKline (GSK:NYSE) and Merck (MRK:NYSE). However, startup companies like the American-based inhaler producer Pneuma Respiratory, founded in 2015, are trying to disrupt the market by developing a digital inhaler, the first of its kind. The firm has raised a total of more than USD 22 million in funding over three rounds.
The COPD market has also yielded another competitor, the UK-based lung drug developer Enterprise Therapeutics, which has developed its most advanced pipeline to treat respiratory diseases, entered into a trial in late 2019. The company managed to complete USD 7.5 million in funding on October 15, which raised the total funding to over USD 56 million.
Chinese startups are facing fierce challenges to enter this market, where innovation is the crucial factor for success. Nevertheless, the massive Chinese population represents a big piece of the lung medicine market which is attracting many investors and entrepreneurs. For instance, respiratory disease is among the leading causes of death in China, while air pollution is the major contributing factor for the growing prevalence of the disease. A study, conducted by Tulane University and published in "The Lancet," reported that almost 100 million (8.6 percent of the adult population) people in China suffer from chronic lung disease.
The lung medicine market in the US and China, according to Transparency Market Research, was estimated at USD 13 billion in 2015 and will rise to USD 18 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 4.1%.