PackGene Biotechnology Closes everal hundred million yuan preC Financing to Accelerate the expansion of rAAV’s large-scale production Platform
In April 2021, Guangzhou PackGene Biotechnology Co., Ltd. A leading CDMO company in chinese gene therapy area – announced the completion of several hundred million yuan Pre-C round of financing. This round of financing was led by CMB International. Followed by Guangzhou Juguan Fund, a subsidiary of Guangzhou Hi-tech Investment Group Co. Ltd (GHIC) . The former shareholders Sequoia China, Cathay Capital, Oriza Seed, Decheng Capital and Kaitai Capital continued to raise funds. This round of financing will be used for the team building and the set up of new production lines and bases. Moreover, to continue the expansion of the production capacity of gene therapy vector rAAV.
PackGene was established in 2014 and is a leading Chinese company in the gene therapy cGMP. PackGene is highly focused on the field of rAAV production and services for years. At present, it has served more than 200 well-known gene therapy pharmaceutical companies and scientific research institutions around the world, covered 15 countries. The founding team has extremely rich experience in the field of gene therapy, and the core team has decades of GMP and commercial production experience. The company provides a one-stop overall solution for the entire industry chain from carrier construction, process development, GMP production and IND declaration support. In October last year, PackGene put 1,500 square meter AAV production base which is in compliance with GMP standards fully into operation and was successfully selected as the “2020 China Biomedical CDMO Enterprise Tomorrow Star”. In February 2021, PackGene signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Danaher Corporation (Pall) to jointly promote the technology upgrade and large-scale production in gene therapy area. In addition, PackGene has an internationally leading 8000 square meter AAV production base, which also complies with China’s NMPA, US FDA, EU EMA, and Japan MHLW standards. This base is about to be completed and is expected to be put into production in the second quarter of this year, which will accelerate the empowerment of CMC process and large-scale rAAV production for gene therapy. The largest total AAV production scale in China, in combination with the industry delivery speed that is widely praised by customers overseas, will continue to establish the leading position of PackGene in the gene therapy industry.
Gene therapy can edit deficient or abnormal genes at the DNA or mRNA level to achieve therapeutic effects. Compared with traditional drugs, gene therapy has great application potential for diseases caused by specific genes. In the future, subversive gene therapy drugs will appear in the fields of many diseases, including CNS diseases, metabolic diseases, tumors, and make them become curable. According to the research reports, the global gene therapy market will exceed tens of billions of dollars in 2024. After decades of exploration, the era of gene therapy has already arrived.
rAAV (recombinant adeno-associated virus) vector is regarded as one of the most promising gene therapy vectors due to its superior safety, long-term stable expression of therapeutic genes, can target most tissues and organs, and can be administrated via local and systemic injections. However, due to the high difficulty of viral vector process optimization and large-scale GMP production, complex processes, low production capacity and long production cycles, the production of rAAV vectors is currently one of the bottlenecks in the development of the global gene therapy industry. As a leading Chinese gene therapy CDMO company, PackGene has always adhered to the core development mission of “making gene therapy affordable”, committed to solving industry bottlenecks and promoting the rapid development of the entire industry. PackGene has a scarce rAAV large-scale production capacity, and its mass production capacity, delivery quality and delivery speed are among the world’s leading and domestically advanced levels. In addition, PackGene has proprietary technology that can greatly reduce the production cost of viral vectors, further empower the pharmaceutical companies around the world, and help the gene therapy industry to take off!
The founder and chairman of the company, Dr. Huapeng Li stated that AAV gene therapy is still facing the challenges of high process difficulty, capacity shortage and long production cycle from the global market. PackGene hopes to provide the solution to the above problems and take AAV gene therapy to a new level. To empower the AAV gene therapy around the world from early detection, IIT, IND to I-III clinical-level rAAV, solve the urgent needs of large-scale production of AAV, and finally realize the mission of making gene affordable,
Leading investor CMB International Managing Director Zhou Kexiang stated that PackGene is a company with many years of technological innovation and industrialization in the field of AAV. The advanced production system built by it has greatly reduced the production cost of AAV, and the quality control standard is at a relatively high level in the industry, which has earned good reputation around the world. Under the leadership of founder Li Huapeng, the company has established a corporate culture of striving for progress and excellence, which can provide excellent CDMO overall solutions for gene therapy companies all over the world. CMB International is very pleased to join hands with PackGene and looks forward to gathering more outstanding talents through the platform of PackGene, giving them a broader space for development, and jointly promoting the progress of the gene therapy CDMO industry. CMB International will rely on the advantages of its own comprehensive financial institution and deep accumulation of social resources, to provide various supports to PackGene continuously and assist the company to develop into a relatively influential gene therapy CDMO Company internationally.
The Following Investor Guangzhou Juguan Fund stated that the Hi-tech investment Group is rooted in Huangpu District and Guangzhou Development Zone, and is positioned for the development and construction of the biomedical industry. As a frontier field of the biomedicine industry, gene therapy has seen explosive development in recent years, demonstrating its clinical potential as a next-generation therapeutic drug. As a key link in the industry chain, PackGene has been deeply engaged in AAV vector technology for many years, and has formed a highly competitive vector technology, which has been greatly recognized by customers all over the world. It will continue to empower customers in the future and promote the clinical progress in field of gene therapy. The Hi-tech investment group will intervene from the perspective of the full cycle of industrialization for mutual benefit and common development.
Mr. Cao Yibo, Managing Director of Sequoia China stated that as an important delivery tool in gene therapy, AAV has broad application prospects and is also one of the most promising areas that Sequoia China think highly of. PackGene has a team with the spirit of craftsman, and has obtained high recognition from customers worldwide in the field of scientific research services. We believe that this spirit will help the company better operate the upcoming GMP production line and continue to help the company grow. This is also the reason why we continue to increase its size.
Ms. Duan Lanchun, the managing partner of Cathay Capital said that as a new field of disease treatment, gene therapy is the most promising development direction of life medicine in recent years, but how to deliver foreign genes into human cells through effective tools is currently the main challenge that the industry faces. PackGene has always focused on the development and innovation of AAV technology research, and successfully developed highly competitive viral vector technology and packaging technology, which has been highly recognized by many leading companies in gene therapy worldwide. In addition, the R&D and production capabilities of the founding team and entrepreneurial spirit are also the main reasons why we firmly believe in and continue to increase the capital. We will continue to support and accompany PackGene, and other Cathay global ecosystem partners to promote the continuous development of the field of gene therapy to bring hope to patients around the world.
Yang Aiying, South China partner of Oriza Seed, said that with the completion of the GMP production line and other major business developments, this is our third round of capital injection for PackGene. We are delighted to see that PackGene is still striding forward to become the most professional gene therapy AAV vector construction and manufacturer. In the future, it can help more gene therapy companies to better develop genes therapy drugs that benefit ordinary patients.
Dr. Cui Xiangmin, founding and managing partner of Decheng Capital, said that it is an honor to continue to support the PackGene in Pre-C round of financing. They are very confident about the development prospect of the company since its establishment
Mr. Chang Nannan, Partner of Kaitai Capital, said that we are fortunate to be the first institutional investor for PackGene to witness the team overcoming obstacles and creating a gene therapy CDMO platform. Special thanks also to the friends who have been helping the team and the team for their hard work.
Mr. Li Yishi, partner of Haoyue Capital, said that we are honored to act as the exclusive financial advisor for PackGene to complete this round of financing. As an epoch-making technology, gene therapy has a wide range of application scenarios and is extremely attractive. However, due to the extremely high technical barriers of its vector optimization design and large-scale production, the production of viral vectors has become the bottleneck of the current industry development, and most Chinese companies are still in their infancy. As a top-level gene therapy CDMO in China, PackGene will empower Chinese innovative pharmaceutical companies with strong mass production capabilities and drive the rapid development of the entire gene therapy industry. We are fortunate to grow together with PackGene and witness the leap of the industry.
About CMB International: CMB International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Merchants Bank, and it is responsible for leveraging the huge domestic emerging financial market through the dual linkage of domestic and overseas investment banks and commercial banks. CMB International has a comprehensive business layout in private equity investment, investment fund management, mezzanine fund management, cross-border capital operations and other new financial services, and is committed to building a high-quality integrated investment platform under China Merchants Bank through development, transformation and innovation. And alternative asset management platforms. Since its establishment, CMB International has accurately grasped the development trend of the industry, and led the participation in many well-known investment cases in the industry. It is a leading private equity investment institution in China.
About Guangzhou Juguan: Founded on November 12, 2020, Guangzhou Juguan is a fund company invested and established by Guangzhou Guoju Venture Capital Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Guangzhou Hi-tech Investment Group Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Hi-tech Investment Group Co., Ltd. was established in 1984 and is one of the earliest state-owned companies directly under the Guangzhou Development Zone. At present, it has developed into a large state-owned enterprise integrating biomedicine and life and health industry investment, park investment and operation management services, urban renewal services, modern service industry, technology finance, inspection and testing, and manufacturing. It has jurisdiction nearly 30 wholly-owned enterprises, including Guangzhou International Biological Island Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Institute of Microbiology Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Hi-tech Investment Holdings Co., Ltd., Guangzhou High-tech Construction Development Co., Ltd., Guangzhou State-owned Huangpi Agricultural and Industrial Co., Ltd., etc. It also invested and has equity participation of Kangfang Biology Medicine Co., Ltd., Realbenefitspot Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Bostal drug Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Biomanufacturing Technology Training Institute, South China New Drug Creation Center and other companies, and built the Guangzhou Biological Industrial Park for the global CDMO leader Lonza on behalf of the agent. As of the end of 2020, the total assets of the High-tech investment Group are nearly 40 billion yuan, and the scale of assets, economic benefits and comprehensive strength are among the forefront of state-owned enterprises in Guangzhou Development Zone.
About Sequoia China: Sequoia has always been committed to helping entrepreneurs to achieve long-lasting great companies, bringing rich global resources and valuable historical experience to member companies. Over the past 49 years, Sequoia has invested in many innovative companies and industry trendsetters. As the “entrepreneur behind the entrepreneurs”, Sequoia China focuses on investment opportunities in the three directions of TMT, healthcare, and consumer products/services. In the past 16 years, Sequoia China has invested in nearly 600 companies with distinctive technical characteristics, innovative business models, high growth and high development potential. In 2020, Sequoia Capital China has harvested a total of 26 listed companies, including Beam Therapeutics, New Industrial Biology, Burning Rock Dx, Tigermed, JW Therapeutic, etc.
About Cathay Capital: As a professional investment institution with the most global industrial resources, Cathay Capital shares knowledge and business opportunities through a unique global ecosystem. Cathay Capital was established in 2006, with a cumulative management scale of over US$4 billion. It has invested in more than 180 companies on four continents, focusing on consumption, TMT, healthcare, automotive travel, energy, financial technology, high-end manufacturing and other fields. Companies with great innovation and development prospects have tapped and invested in dozens of high-quality companies such as Sophia, Zhibang Home Furnishing, Meinian Health, Moncler, Botian Environment, Ai Recycling, JD Logistics, Delmar, Zongteng Network, etc. , And star unicorn projects such as Momenta, Pinduoduo, Chime, Yuanqi Forest, Drivy, Glovo, Sidecar, etc., accompany them to grow into leading companies in various industries. In 15 years of development, Cathay has received continuous support from diversified investors around the world, including sovereign funds in China, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, Fortune 500 companies, long-established family investors, mainstream banks, and insurance companies. And other financial institutions. Nearly half of French CAC40 index companies are continuing investors in Cathay Capital. Cathay Capital has offices in Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, San Francisco, Munich, Tel Aviv and Singapore. More than 100 professional investment team members around the world have multicultural and global perspectives, through unique business models and value-added strategies and grounded in Network and resources serve investors and investee companies, excavate and accompany the growth of a new generation of world-class companies.
About Decheng Capital: Founded in 2012, Decheng Capital is a venture capital company focusing on the medical and health field. Decheng Capital seizes the historic opportunity of the rapid growth of China’s medical and health industry and the revolutionary innovation of global life sciences to provide capital and strategic support for entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs and inventors. Decheng Capital’s offices are located in Silicon Valley, New York, and Shanghai, China.
About Oriza Seed: Oriza Seed is a professional early-stage equity investment platform with market-oriented operation, focusing on investment opportunities for startup and growth startups in the two major fields of TMT and Healthcare. The total scale of its six funds is about 3.4 billion yuan. In RMB, there are both VC funds and angel funds targeting the six regions of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Hangzhou. As of the end of 2019, Oriza Seed has invested and managed more than 100 innovative companies, including Tianzhun Technology (688003), Jiangsu Beiren Robot (688218), Zhongke Cambrian (688256), Topwong, and Pineapple Bun Light Novel , Ascent Pharmaceuticals (06855), CStone Pharmaceuticals (02616), Anmai Bio, Kai Tak Pharmaceuticals, WuXi Giant Nuo, Biocytogen, Ozida, Kebang Gene, EsMed, Ruipai Medical, Dingke Medical, Huihe Medical, RootPath, Anjisheng, Paizhen Biotechnology, etc.
About Kaitai Capital: Kaitai Capital was established in 2009. It is a professional venture capital management institution, mainly engaged in innovative investment, industrial investment, and wealth management business. At present, Kaitai Capital’s fund management scale exceeds RMB 50 billion. The four main investment areas are medicine and biotechnology, digital health and digital medical treatment, artificial intelligence and digital industry, community innovation and consumption upgrade.
About Haoyue Capital: Haoyue Capital was founded in January 2014 and is committed to becoming a bridge between China’s medical business and capital. Haoyue Capital’s research fields and transaction scope cover multiple sub-fields such as biomedicine, innovative medical devices, IVD and precision medicine, medical services and smart medicine. Hao Yue Capital’s team is composed of senior investment bankers who have been deeply involved in China’s healthcare field for many years. They closely follow the medical and health investment market dynamics and investment trends for a long time. They publish weekly medical and health investment reports and special research reports to interpret new policies and frontier from Hao Yue’s perspective.
Grandall Law Firm (Shanghai) provided full legal services for this financing.