China was once known as the best in the biotech industry for producing generic drugs at a cheaper price. Now, more and more China-based startups are making their own clinical therapeutics and staking a claim in the world of pharmaceuticals.
Beijing-based biotech firm Sironax announced on Tuesday it raised $200 million in Series B funding to study age-related degenerative diseases. The funding was led by Gaorong Capital and YF Capital, per Crunchbase data, bringing total funding to $301 million.
The funding will go toward advancing its therapeutic assets through the clinical trial pipeline, as well as toward research and development of new drugs to expand its portfolio.
Common degenerative diseases include Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (though the company did not specify which ones it is focusing on).
Treatments for age-related diseases will continue to be a necessary move as baby boomers are on track to become the largest and longest-living generation in history, using the lion’s share of medical resources, which will put a financial strain on the health care system. The U.S. and other countries with a large aging population is heading toward a public health crisis, as long-term care resources become more expensive and scarce.
China’s growing biotech industry
China-based biotech and health startups saw a massive flood of funding in 2021 to the tune of $19.6 billion, compared to $14.5 million the year prior and $8.5 million in 2019 according to Crunchbase data.
Sequoia Capital China, the most active investor in 2021 and so far this year, announced its $8 billion fund in March. The largest share of Sequoia’s investments were diverted to startups in the health care and software sectors. Hillhouse Capital Group, the second most active, placed most of its funds in health care startups.
It’s unclear if the momentum will continue through 2022, given the global pullback of venture money in Q2.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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