In June, Vivace Therapeutics burst its stealth bubble by announcing it had raised $40 million in venture capital. In fact, the San Mateo, California, company had already been in existence for two years, but deliberately kept its public profile low – invisible, actually. The reason? Its novel science. As Sofie Qiao, PhD, President and CEO of Vivace, told ChinaBio Today in an exclusive interview, “We stayed covert; it was really early stage and novel; we wanted to see how it turned out.” Ten years ago, Dr. Qiao was CEO at LEAD Therapeutics, a company with a similar business plan: an early stage US virtual company using China CROs. But compared to LEAD, Vivace shows how much the China novel drug development ecosystem has matured in ten years.
Deals and Financings
Rodeo Therapeutics of Seattle announced a $5.9 million Series A financing put together by Accelerator Corporation with participation from investors that included WuXi AppTec. Rodeo is developing small-molecule therapies to promote tissue repair. It intends to develop drugs that treat inflammatory bowel disease and increase blood cell regeneration after a bone marrow transplant. The Accelerator Corporation, located in Seattle, provides Rodeo with a corporate home and shares its CEO, Thong Le, with Rodeo.
Nanjing Frontier Biotechnologies acquired global rights to a novel broad-spectrum HIV neutralizing antibody from The Rockefeller University of the US. Frontier will combine the antibody with albuvirtide, its own long-acting anti-HIV/AIDS peptide, to treat and prevent HIV infection and AIDS. In 2016, Nanjing filed an NDA for albuvirtide with the CFDA, the world’s first NDA for a long-acting HIV medicine. Financial details of the agreement between Frontier and Rockefeller University were not disclosed.
China’s pharmaceutical market currently generates $110 billion of revenues, according to BizVibe, a Canadian B2B global business networking platform. BizVibe, citing…