If you’re looking from the outside, it might seem like starting a biotech or Biopharmaceutical Company seems like a lucrative or useful idea. After all, the world will never run out of the need for new medicines or treatments for diseases? Diseases and ailments like cancer evolve and viruses get new strains, making medical and biological research highly important. Especially for a disease like cancer, research is extremely needed. Cancer has more than a hundred types and only a handful can be ‘treated’. And cancer isn’t the only disease that is very difficult or near impossible to treat.
While these circumstances may make it seem like the biotech or biopharmaceutical field in business is easy to conquer, the reality is that it is not. These kinds of ventures are high risk ventures. Tech start-ups can usually launch their products in a few months or so. Meanwhile, biopharmaceutical start-ups may take years before they can launch their product due to extensive research that needs repeated experiments. In addition to this, this is also cash intensive so those who are planning to have their own biopharmaceutical startup need to make sure that they would have big and steady support of venture capital firms or that they are able to secure finance projects from private equity firms.
One of the biopharmaceutical companies that have shown promise and resilience in the industry is the Antengene. It is a biopharmaceutical company that which has its goal aimed towards developing and commercializing novel therapeutics, and discover drugs, medicines, and therapies for diseases in Asia-Pacific and China that are usually high incident but unmet in terms of treatments. Beyond research and development, Antengene also understands the importance of having social responsibilities and thus have aimed to have a positive impact in communities by delivering these treatments and therapeutics to patients regardless of borders.
The founder, current chairman, and CEO of the company is Dr. Jay Mei. Dr. Mei has wide and longterm experience in terms of cancer research and drug development with him having over 20 years in the industry and working for the US National Cancer Institue. He has also worked with several other research and development teams of other multi-national pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson, Novartis Oncology, and Celgene. In addition to this, he also was one of the leading minds for developing the REVLIMID in China.
Antengene isn’t the only biotech or biopharmaceutical company in the industry. There are also other ones like Mabspace and HJB, which now merged and formed Transcenta Holding. Even before the merge, Mabspace and HJB had already been looking promising as they had backing from several big venture capital firms. But with the merging, this strengthened not only their research and products but also their appeal to private investors.
However, Antengene isn’t wavering either. Instead, it is flourishing especially with its recent completion of a Series B financing project. This financing round was led by the Boyu Capital and the FountainVest, and WuXi Corporate Venture Fund, Celgene Corporation and Taikang participated in it too. The financing round can be considered a big win for the startup company as they completed a $120 million financing. Their last financing was in 2017 with a Series A financing and it amounted to $21 million.