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Kumquat Signs $2 Billion US-China Immune Drug Deal With Lilly

As part of a $2 billion deal, Kumquat Biosciences of San Diego will work with a Lilly subsidiary to find small molecule medicines that trigger tumor-specific immune responses in cancer patients (see story). $70 million will be paid up-front in cash and stock, with $2 billion worth of milestone payments to be made by Eli Lilly.

It is possible that Lilly will be able to pick the properties that Kumquat will develop for the US, while Kumquat will retain China rights to the assets after the discovery phase is over. Chinese co-commercialization will be available to Lilly.

In an IPO in Hong Kong, Sirnaomics, an RNAi therapeutics firm based in Maryland and Suzhou, filed to raise $300 million. Using local or systemic delivery, Sirnaomics offers two siRNA therapies that target TGF-1 and COX-2 for the treatment of malignancies and fibrotic disorders, respectively. Phase II studies are underway in the China and the US.While the prospectus did not include a specific financial aim, it indicated a $300 million ambition. In its Series E round, Sirnaomics raised $105 million, after raising the same amount in a Series D round last year.

Its parent company, MicroPort Scientific, invested $47 million of the $150 million in the Series C investment, which included $20 million from Hillhouse (see story). Pacemaker and defibrillator devices are manufactured by MicroPort CRM. The CRM division of Liva Nova, an Italian company, was bought by MicroPort for $190 million in 2017.In Clamart, a Paris suburb, MicroPort CRM has offices and R&D teams. MicroPort Scientific, the business’s parent, is a multinational medical device corporation with its headquarters in Shanghai, China.

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