HONG KONG, SHANGHAI, SUZHOU and HANGZHOU, China, Jan. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — HJB and MabSpace Biosciences (MabSpace) today announced that the two companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement to create Transcenta Holding Ltd. (Transcenta), a world-class biotherapeutics company with fully-integrated capabilities in research, development, regulatory and manufacturing of biologics. Dr. Xueming Qian, former Founder, Chairman and CEO of MabSpace, will serve as Chief Executive Officer while Dr. Jonathan Yining Zhao, Co-founder and CEO of HJB, will be the Executive Chairman of the combined company, respectively.
Founded in 2013, MabSpace is a clinical stage biotech company focused on discovery, clinical research and commercial development of innovative biologic medicines, particularly in the field of antibody-based therapeutics for cancer and other diseases. MabSpace is headquartered in Hong Kong, with a 50,000 square-foot, fully-integrated antibody discovery and development facility in Biobay, Suzhou Industrial Park, China. MabSpace employs a sixty-person team covering discovery and translational research, process development, clinical and commercial development and regulatory affairs. With its proprietary antibody generation platform technology, Immune Tolerance Breaking Technology, MabSpace has established a pipeline of over ten innovative fast follow-on or first-in-class antibody programs in oncology, ophthalmology as well as nephrology.
Founded in 2016, HJB is dedicated to designing and applying innovative bioprocessing technologies to accelerate biologics R&D and manufacturing. HJB has global sites established in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Boston, and a global talent pool of over 100 scientists, clinicians and bioengineers. With its 140,000 square feet state-of-the-art POD-based manufacturing facility and next-generation continuous processing technology, HJB can enable speedy development of high-quality biotherapeutic agents and significantly reduce the cost of production to make these biologic medicines more affordable to a global population. Through in-licensing, HJB has obtained either China or global rights for several first-in-class next-generation immunotherapy antibody programs.
By leveraging and combining the complimentary capabilities of HJB and MabSpace, Transcenta will be equipped with a senior team with extensive global industrial experience in biologics-based therapeutics discovery and development, and fully integrated in-house capabilities in biologic therapeutics discovery, development and manufacturing. Transcenta will have a global footprint: Discovery and Translational Research Center in Suzhou, Process and Product Development Center and Manufacturing Facility in Hangzhou, and Clinical Development Centers in Shanghai, Beijing and Boston, US. The combined entity will have over 10 innovative pipeline molecules. Transcenta aims to shorten the timeline from target to BLA, and will make the high-quality, next-generation GMP facility available to support the development and commercialization of both in-house and strategic partner’s pipeline molecules.
"We are excited to merge with MabSpace. The newly merged entity will combine the strength of MabSpace and HJB in discovery, development and manufacturing," said Transcenta’s executive chairman, Dr. Jonathan Y. Zhao, "MabSpace and HJB have a combined pipeline with more than 10 pre-clinical and clinical pipeline products. Leveraging the HJB’s strength in process and clinical development and integrated biomanufacturing, Transcenta will continue to create greater values by providing high-quality biologics at affordable prices to patients around the world. "
"I would like to thank our investors from both sides for their full-hearted support of this strategic combination. With the merger of HJB and MabSpace, we can achieve a critical mass, significantly accelerate the development and commercialization of our innovative pipeline and establish Transcenta as a truly fully integrated biotherapeutics-focused global biotech company. This not only enables shorter development timelines, but also provides high-quality biotherapeutics at a much lower cost to ensure affordability and sustained profitability. We hope to build Transcenta as an enduring biotech company that delivers high quality, innovative medicines to our patients and value to our shareholders around the world," added Dr. Xueming Qian, Transcenta’s Co-Founder and CEO.
HJB and MabSpace have altogether raised approximately $160 million thus far from prominent investors, including Lilly Asia Ventures, Temasek, Sequoia China, ARCH Venture Partners, Teng Yue Partners and Taikang, etc. Transcenta is open to strategic collaboration with global biotech companies to further expand its portfolio and enhance its technology capabilities.
About ARCH Venture Partners, ARCH Venture Partners is one of the largest early stage technology venture firms in the U.S. ARCH has co-founded and provided initial investments for more than 230 companies organized around life science and physical science innovations from research universities, national laboratories, corporate research groups, and entrepreneurs.
About Lilly Asia Ventures. Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) is a leading biomedical venture capital firm, with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Palo Alto. Our vision is to become the trusted partner for exceptional entrepreneurs seeking smart capital and to build great companies developing breakthrough products that treat diseases and improve human health.
About Sequoia China. The Sequoia China team helps daring founders build legendary companies. In partnering with Sequoia China, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we’ve learned over 47 years. As "The Entrepreneurs Behind The Entrepreneurs", Sequoia China focuses on four sectors: TMT, healthcare, consumer/service, and industrial technology. Over the past 14 years we’ve had the privilege of working with more than 500 companies in China.
About Taikang. Taikang is a leading insurance and financial service group in China. The company operates through three main businesses including insurance, asset management and health and elderly care. With a major investment focus in healthcare, Taikang has invested in a number of companies such as Wuxi AppTec, Mindray Medical, and Innovent Biologics.
About Temasek. Incorporated in 1974, Temasek is a global investment company headquartered in Singapore. Supported by its network of international offices, Temasek owns a S$308 billion (US$235b, RMB1.48t) portfolio as at 31 March 2018, with significant exposure to Singapore and the rest of Asia.
About Teng Yue Partners. Teng Yue Partners is a New York based investment firm that specializes in equity investments in China. Teng Yue utilizes a disciplined investment process based on fundamental analysis, leveraging its global perspective and local expertise.
BFC Group Ltd served as exclusive financial advisor to this transaction. Han Kun Law Offices served as counsel to this merger transaction. Sidley Austin LLP served as counsel to MabSpace.
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