Record CStone Funding Heralds New Era For China Startups
This article was originally published in PharmAsia News
With $150m in hand and a pipeline covering five therapeutic areas, CStone has already broken the record for the largest Series A investment in a Chinese biopharma startup. If that's not impressive enough, add a CEO from big pharma and support from China’s largest CRO.
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Suzhou-based immuno-oncology specialist CStone raised a $260m Series B round and Brii launched with $260m in Series A cash to develop drugs for the China market. Also, multiple start-ups launched recently with more than $50m in Series A rounds, including Ansun, Beam, Casma, Celsius and Neurana.
Big venture capital bets continue in biopharma, including Foresite's new $668m fund and Merck's $125m investment in Moderna, but small VC rounds could be making a comeback. In public company financings, Aslan and Evelo launched in the US, while Ascletis is testing Hong Kong’s IPO market.
Series A venture capital and seed funding rounds for biopharma firms in 2016 kept pace with the level of investment seen in 2015, excluding one major deal in 2015, laying the foundation for optimism regarding early-stage financings in 2017 for particularly innovative companies.