OrbiMed backs China's Zai Lab in a $100M B round

Shanghai-headquartered drug developer Zai Lab said it locked up more than $100 million in Series B financing, raising cash from a syndicate including OrbiMed and Sequoia Capital.

Led by Chinese investor Advantech Capital, the round also drew funds from Qiming Ventures and and TF Capital. With the financing, Zai Labs plans to hit the gas on its internal pipeline, including a Phase III treatment for liver cancer, a midstage lung cancer therapy and a Phase I treatment for asthma and COPD.

Zai Lab got off the ground in 2013, partnering up Sanofi's ($SNY) growing Chinese R&D operation and putting together a $30 million A round the following year. The company picked its most advanced asset in 2015 through a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), pressing into Phase III with an oral treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. Months later, Zai Lab added a first-in-class antibody targeting autoimmune disease from UCB, and the company plans to further pad its pipeline through similar licensing agreements with Western drugmakers.

Since then, Zai Lab has been scaling up its R&D efforts in its native country, recruiting Hutchison China MediTech veteran James Yan to lead its development operation and opening a research center in Shanghai's life sciences cluster.

- read the statement

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