Fierce Pharma Asia—China mRNA specialist's $700M raise; Lilly-Innovent's Tyvyt win; XtalPi's AI financing

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Abogen's $700 million mRNA financing round, Eli Lilly and Innovent Biologics' PD-1 stomach cancer win and more made our news this week. (Google)

Riding a global craze for mRNA tech, China's Abogen Biosciences has raised a whopping $700 million in a series C. Eli Lilly and Innovent Biologics' PD-1 inhibitor Tyvyt posted a phase 3 win in previously untreated stomach cancer. China's artificial intelligence drug miner XtalPi has reeled in a $400 million series D. And more.

1. China's Abogen raises $700M series C for mRNA trials, catapulting itself into the big leagues

China’s Abogen Biosciences has raised a jaw-dropping $700 million series C round. The once little-known mRNA specialist scored recognition in April with the first phase 3 clinical trial of a Chinese mRNA vaccine. Temasek, Yunfeng Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures and Boyu Capital are among the co-leaders of the round. The money will be used fund the COVID shot’s phase 3 program.

2. Lilly, Innovent’s PD-1 Tyvyt extends life in newly diagnosed stomach cancer

Eli Lilly and Innovent Biologics’ PD-1 inhibitor Tyvyt snagged a phase 3 win in newly diagnosed stomach cancer. In a China-only trial dubbed ORIENT-16, the combination of Tyvyt and chemotherapy beat solo chemo at extending the lives of first-line patients with gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Innovent said it plans to use the data to seek a label expansion in China. About half of the world’s stomach cancer cases are diagnosed in China. Tyvyt is currently under FDA review in front-line non-small cell lung cancer.

3. AI drug miner XtalPi strikes gold with $400M infusion, its 2nd VC megaround in a year

Artificial-intelligence-based drug discoverer XtalPi has raised $400 million in its latest financing, less than a year after a $318.8 million round last September. The series D was co-led by OrbiMed and HOPU Investments. The Chinese company boasts a platform, dubbed ID4, which uses AI and cloud-based data collection and analysis technologies to design small-molecule drugs.

4. Daewoong, Hanmi among 7 Korean drugmakers to establish shop in Boston biotech hub (Korea Biomedical Review)

Seven Korean biopharma companies have so far set up shop in Boston’s biotech hub, Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association said. GC Pharma and Yuhan were the first to move there in 2019. Daewoong Pharmaceutical and Hanmi Pharmaceutical are among the latest five to have settled at the Cambridge Innovation Center’s Boston location.