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• A deeply researched Wall Street Journal article describes Dr. Jiankui He, the man who used Crispr-Cas9 gene editing to alter human embryos in eight women from China, as a"product of his environment," not a rogue scientist working alone;
• Regulatory changes are speeding drug development timelines for novel imported drugs in China, and VCs raised over $40 billion in new funding last year. Was 2018 as good as it gets, or can the growth in investment activity continue?
Deals and Financings
• Beijing InnoCare Pharma is planning a Hong Kong IPO that could raise as much as $250 million at a $800 million valuation;
• Viva Biotech, a Shanghai CRO, raised $194 million in its Hong Kong IPO, and then traded 14% higher;
• Junshi Biosciences filed to IPO on Shanghai's new Technology Exchange, five months after completing a $394 million Hong Kong IPO;
• Zai Lab closed a $200 million follow-on financing, just eight months after its previous $150 million follow-on, as it nears launch for two candidates;
• Ally Bridge Group of Hong Kong led an over-subscribed $65 million financing of Pulmonx, a Bay Area pulmonary device maker;
• GeneQuantum of Suzhou closed a nearly $15 million Pre-B financing, led by Huagai Capital for clinical trials of its next-gen ADC candidates and new technologies;
• TAKE2 Health, a Hong Kong healthcare startup, in-licensed global rights to IP for an early nasopharyngeal cancer test from Grail, a diagnostics company;
• WuXi AppTec, China's largest CRO/CMO, acquired San Diego's Pharmapace, a CRO offering biometrics services for clinical trials;
• Harbour BioMed will partner with Chia Tai Tianqing, a Lianyungang pharma, to discover and develop next-gen biologics for targets in oncology and immunology;
Trials and Approvals
• Innovative Cellular Therapeutics, a US-Shanghai biotech, presented data from an ongoing clinical trial and preclinical studies of its novel CD19 CAR-T candidate;
• Connect Biopharma of Suzhou completed a successful Phase I ascending dose trial of its novel IL-4Rα antibody, CBP-201 for atopic dermatitis and other inflammatory diseases.
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