CDMO GenScript ProBio raises $224m

GenScript ProBio of Nanjing, a biologics CDMO with operations around the globe, has raised $224 million in a C round funding.

ProBio offers end-to-end contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services from drug discovery to commercialization for antibodies, cell and gene therapies. The company said it would use the capital to increase manufacturing capacity, advance its R&D offerings and acquire companies that add services.

After the funding, GenScript Biotech, a gene synthesis company, will continue to own 70% of ProBio, down from 80%, even though it added about $30 million to the funding. Legend Capital led the C round.

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GenScript ProBio spawned Legend Biotech, a GenScript company (not a part of Legend Capital) that produced China’s first approval for a CAR-T therapy. Carvykti (ciltacabtagene autoleucel) is a BCMA targeted CAR-T therapy approved to treat multiple myeloma. Legend formed an early US partnership for the drug with Janssen, a J&J subsidiary in 2017.

Other investors in the C round include HighLight Capital, C&D no.7 Holdings – an investment firm affiliated with Chinese government-controlled property developer Xiamen C&D Corp – and CTSII Fund, a service economy-focused fund established by China’s commerce ministry, finance ministry and China Merchants Group.

Zhuhai Fenheng Enterprise Management Consulting Center, a Hillhouse affiliate, will invest about $12 million for a 1.9% stake in ProBio Cayman. In 2021, two Hillhouse funds contributed $150 to the company in an A round.

GenScript ProBio has established companies in the United States, the Netherlands, South Korea, and China (Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Nanjing) and other regions to serve global customers. It has helped its global customers obtain more than 40 IND approvals since October 2017.

GenScript ProBio’s Cell/Gene therapy offerings include CMC of plasmids and viruses for IND filings as well as clinical/commercial manufacturing. GenScript ProBio’s innovative solutions for biologics discovery and development include therapeutic antibody discovery, antibody engineering and antibody characterization.

For its biologics CDMO services, GenScript ProBio has built a DNA to GMP material platform, including R&D, clinical and commercial manufacturing. It offers fed-batch and perfusion processes to meet the growing needs for antibody and protein drugs.

This article was first published in ChinaBio Today on January 18, 2023 

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