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Week In Review: Grail Plans $500 Million Hong Kong IPO For Cancer Diagnostics

Mar. 04, 2018 12:05 PM ETILMN, FOSUY
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ChinaBio Today

Deals and Financings

Grail, a US spinout from Illumina (ILMN) that is developing blood-based cancer detection tests, is considering a $500 million Hong Kong IPO (see story). Last year, Grail completed a $900 million Series B fundraising, the largest ever. In June, Grail merged with Cirina, a Hong Kong cancer diagnostics company, which was co-founded by Dennis Lo, DM, DPhil, an early scientific leader in the field of molecular diagnostics. Grail is considering Hong Kong for its IPO venue following new HKEX rules that allow companies to IPO even if they aren't profitable and to offer two classes of stock, one with voting rights (for the original owners) and one without.

Viela Bio, a brand new spinout from MedImmune, announced a $250 million Series A funding led by three China investors: Shanghai's 6 Dimensions Capital (an investment firm formed in 2017 by the merger of Frontline BioVentures and WuXi Healthcare Ventures), plus Hong Kong's Boyu Capital and Beijing's Hillhouse Capital. Viela will focus on inflammation and autoimmunity, based on an initial six molecules (three clinical-stage candidates and three preclinical molecules) donated by MedImmune.

CARsgen Therapeutics, a Shanghai CAR-T drug developer, will raise $60 million in a Pre-C financing round from existing and new investors. The company said it would use the funds to restructure and file for an "overseas" IPO in the near future. In addition, CARsgen will submit several Investigational New Drug applications for additional CAR-T therapeutics and continue next-generation CAR-T research. CARsgen already has an active clinical-stage CAR-T program, with five candidates in trials.

Cullgen, a US-Japan-China small-molecule drug startup, announced a Seed Financing of up to $15 million from GNI Group (TOKYO:2160). Cullgen plans to develop drugs based on its ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation technology, which the company says will address previously undruggable targets. GNI is headed by Ying Luo, PhD, the founder of Shanghai Genomics, a company

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China has become the #2 pharmaceutical market years ahead of projections and continues to be the fastest growing market in the world. China is $50 billion dollars a year into life science and healthcare development through over 160 government funding programs. VC investment, M&A transactions and cross-border partnering deals in China were all up significantly in 2012. ChinaBio® Today focuses exclusively on the rapidly evolving life science industry in China, including biotech, pharma, medical device, diagnostics, services and tools. From our offices in Shanghai and San Diego, our industry analysts provide daily news, commentary and analysis on public and private China life science companies, as well as events and global issues affecting the China market. Visit: ChinaBio Today (http://www.chinabiotoday.com) ChinaBio LLC (http://www.chinabiollc.com)

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