China's GenScript conjures $224M in investor cash for its biologics contractor ProBio

Setting its sights on production and R&D expansions, GenScript’s biologics subsidiary ProBio notched its third fundraising round in less than two years.

The CDMO’s $224 million raise will provide fuel for working capital, business expansion and more, GenSript said in a securities filing this week. More specifically, the cash will provide extra funding for ProBio to “build up manufacturing capacity, further research and development capabilities and opportunistically acquire assets to develop its CDMO business and create value" for shareholders.

The financing round was led by investment firm Legend Capital, along with the likes of Zhuhai Fenheng Enterprise Management Consulting Center, HLC VGC and Shanghai Lianpeng Enterprise Management Partnership.

The $224 million raise follows ProBio’s $150 million Series A in September 2021, which came courtesy of private equity company Hillhouse Capital Group. Other investors chipped in on a $37 million Series B just a few months later in 2022.

GenScript’s biologics CDMO officially launched under the ProBio moniker back in 2020. That was roughly a year after kicking off work on a production facility focused on plasmids and virus manufacturing in Zhenjiang, China.

Notably, GenScript is the company behind Legend Biotech, whose Johnson & Johnson-partnered CAR-T cell therapy Carvykti won an FDA nod to enter the multiple myeloma ring back in February 2022.

ProBio’s latest raise comes at an exciting time for the Chinese contract manufacturing and development scene, as companies like WuXi Biologics plot capacity expansions and thousands of new hires at facilities in China, as well as those in Europe and the U.S.

Among WuXi Bio’s latest expansions, the company recently cut the ribbon on an integrated biologics center in the Fengxian District of Shanghai.

The latest phase of the project brought on a drug substance facility and two drug product plants into the fold, WuXi said in November.