Third Party Drug Developer JOINN Biologics Completes USD 60 Million Series A
COVID-19 and China
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Beijing-based pharmaceutical service provider JOINN Biologics (昭衍生物) announced its Series A funding round, worth CNY 60 million and led by HG Capital (华盖资本). This saw participation from Hong Kong’s Hualian holdings company (华联控股) and Hangzhou-based VC firm Chaosheng Capital (巢生资本).

Founded in 2018, JOINN Biologics is a subsidiary firm of Beijing-based drug research company JOINN Laboratories (昭衍新药). The company focuses on drug development and provides a variety of preclinical and non-clinical services to healthcare companies. Other subsidiaries include JOINN Laboratories in Suzhou and California.

Recently, JOINN Lab signed a binding agreement to merge with the American-based biomedical company Biomere at a cost of USD 27.3 million. The merging is part of the Chinese clinical provider's drive to expand its business in the United States.

After completing the funding round, HG Capital Medical Fund partner Zeng Zhiqing (曾志强) demonstrated his satisfaction and confidence in the pharmaceutical firm, believing that the firm will be among the future leaders in China's healthcare industry.

So far this year, the private equity company has carried out a series of investments in the healthcare sector, including biotech, medical device, hospitals, and other related healthcare firms, with a portfolio over CNY 500 million, including seven pharmaceutical companies.

In the global market, there are more than 1,100 CRO companies, led by IQVIA, Covance, LabCorp, Parexel, PRA, WuXiAppTech, PPD, Charles River, ICON and Syneos. These firms combined hold over 50% of global CRO market share, according to research conducted by ReportLinker.

The research also revealed that, in 2018, the global CRO market was worth USD 37.2 billion. China has become a competitive market in pharmaceutical R&D with companies creating several R&D centers and boosting the CRO industry, which was valued at CNY 68.77 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach an astonishing CNY 242.5 billion by 2025. 

A recent report released by EqualOcean, "Healthtech: Trends and Startups 2019," showed that in 2019 the VC companies made an aggressive move, spending more than USD 9.5 billion in biotech & pharmaceutical and over USD 2.6 billion in medical devices firms, with most of the funding being conceived in Series A and B. Companies from the US, China, and the UK attracted more than half of total PE investments in 2019, with 31.45%, 11.65%, and 3.1%, respectively. 

To know more about the recently released report, please download both the English and Chinese version here.

The Chinese drug developer giant WuXi AppTec (药明康德), which is one of the major players in the CRO industry takes up 10% of domestic CRO market stake. The Shanghai-listed WuXi AppTec (603259: SH) made its IPO debut in Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where its shares were priced at USD 8.71, raising over USD 1 billion.

Investors are eyeing the market closely, as technology innovation is boosting these companies to achieve outstanding results and create more sophisticated and accurate equipment to combat and cure chronic disease. 

Editor: Luke Sheehan
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