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2014.6.26-28 上海新国际博览中心

 

外媒评价中国生物制药VC市场:仍处早期阶段

 

中国的生物制药风险投资市场仍然处于初期发展阶段,美国著名生物产业杂志“生物世界”分析认为中国VC市场空间“蜂蜜比花多“,VC的兴趣远远超过了早期生物制药公司的数量。

 

礼来亚洲风投资基金董事总经理施毅博士也有同样的看法,“风险投资基金的数目要远远多于可以合作的公司,将来可能会出现更多的生物制药公司,但这需要时间,很多公司对新型生物产品感兴趣,但数量并不多”。

 

公布的支持早期生物制剂公司的VC交易也证实了这一点,极少的公司,比方说 Shenogen (北京珅奥基医药科技有限公司)正在自主开发新型生物制剂。

 

ChinaBio LLC 主席及创始人 Greg Scott 认为,“在中国我们发现VC的钱追着交易跑,他们对西方国家的新技术非常感兴趣,甚至包括一些想在中国商业化的西方国家的初创企业”。

 

中国市场对VC们有诸多利处,比如临床前和临床早期研发的低成本。信达生物制药(苏州)有限公司就采取了这样的策略,这家公司开发的单抗生物仿制药在国外或得许可,而在中国进行商业化,礼来亚洲风险投资基金于2012年注入2500万美元。

Ascletis 公司也采取了类似的策略,2011年吸引了1亿美金的投资。

 

Scott 评论说,“我们可以看到一些生物初创企业的整体角色就是商业化生物仿制药”。

 

施毅博士也有同样的评论,“如果你看下VC的投资组合,会发现一堆生物制药企业,但在些生物企业中,生物仿制品或改良产品类型的企业占了75%-80%”。

 

“为了开发一种产品,生物制药公司需要建立生产线,这需要花费大量的资本,甚至可达几亿美金。许多人对早期公司感兴趣,但当他们意识到如此高昂的投资后往往望而却步”。

 

施毅博士对VC市场保持乐观态度,认为中国正在形成健康的VC市场,可以预见会有更多的投资注入这些早期生物制药公司。

但他也同样指出VC仅仅是资金来源的一种,“初创生物企业并不能仅仅指望VC,还可以依靠政府资助,寻找合作伙伴,或者银行贷款”。

 

详细英文报道:

 

It’s still early days for VC in China’s early stage biopharmas

 

SHANGHAI – There are more bees than flowers in the China biopharma space, with venture capital (VC) interest outstripping the number of early stage companies with novel biologics to develop.

 

“There are more venture capital funds with interest than actual companies to work with,” Yi Shi, managing director of Lilly Asia Ventures, told BioWorld Asia. “There will be more but it will take a long time. Many companies are very interested in novel biologics but there just aren’t that many companies in China.”

 

The limited data on publicly announced venture capital deals supporting early stage biologic companies plays this out. Only a very few, such as Shenogen, are developing homegrown discoveries.

 

“In China we are seeing there is more VC money chasing deals, than there are deals,” said Greg Scott, president of ChinaBio LLC. “There is a lot of interest in bringing Western technology, and even in some rare cases Western start-ups, to commercialize in China.”

 

China offers several advantages that VC players try to capitalize upon – namely the relatively lower cost of preclinical and early stage clinical development. Innovent Biologics Inc. has taken this strategy. The Suzhou-based company develops biosimilar monoclonal antibodies licensed from abroad to commercialize in China. Lilly Asia Ventures invested $25 million in Innovent in 2012.

 

Ascletis Inc. attracted its own substantial honeypot, the biggest for a biologics company, with a similar strategy. In 2011, it received $100 million in funding from Hangzhou Binjiang Investment Holding Co. Ascletis, of Hangzhou, is a specialty therapeutics company focused on in-licensed therapies for cancer and infectious diseases.

“We see a lot of activity in biologic start ups whose role in life is to commercialize biosimilar drugs from elsewhere,” said Scott.
Shi concurs, “If you look at VC portfolios there are probably over a dozen biologics companies. Out of those dozen the majority, 75 percent to 80 percent, are biosimilar or biobetter type products.”

 

There are several types of VC players in the biologics space in China. The main life science VCs active here – such as Orbimed Advisors LLC, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Sequoia Capital – are looking to gain from the phenomenal growth coming out of China’s life sciences, but in many cases their deals are not announced.

 

There are the newer players, such as Cenova Ventures and Morningside Group, which have broader portfolios with an Asia focus. Also cropping up are strategic deals arranged by local companies with a good cash position that start out making strategic investments and in some cases set up professionally managed VCs of their own. Wuxi Apptec, the hugely successful CRO, is but one well-known example.

 

Scott said he is familiar with many VCs saying they are interested in supporting early stage companies but it is rare to see any financing novel preclinical work. As always, risk is a factor.

 

“In the U.S. you may have more hits on a goal,” says Scott.

 

Given the small numbers of targets, a concern is how to have a viable portfolio strategy in China. VCs may be looking to invest in at least five to 10 drug companies in order to get at least one winner. The attitude for some in China is that “doing a one-off drug company does not make sense,” Scott said, adding, “I would argue that approach because if you are doing devices and services you can diversify across sectors to be sure to have a hit.”

 

The main barrier for Shi is more concrete, and more predictable.

 

“It is a tough game because in addition to developing the product you have to build a manufacturing facility. The investment that is needed is not for the faint of the heart. It takes a lot of capital, a few hundred million dollars, to build a manufacturing facility. A lot of people are interested (in early stage investment of novel biologics) but they realize the investment required and they back away,” Shi said.

 

Last year’s ban on initial public offerings had little effect on VC financing for novel biologics since the rules state only profitable companies are eligible to list in the first place, effectively eliminating early stage R&D companies.

 

“IPOs only impacted later stage deals,” said Shi.

 

But Shi is optimistic the trend is increasingly toward early stage companies.

 

“Some people are seeing there is a healthier ecosystem, you can count on other people and other VCs to come in, so there is more early stage investment.”

 

But he points out that VC is but one financing option needed to get to the finish line. “You cannot rely on one type of capital it is likely to take a combination of government, partnership and bank loans,” Shi said.

 

来源:生物谷 更新时间:2014/5/6

 

 

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