(Yicai Global) Dec. 17 -- Shanghai has launched a CNY50 billion (USD7.6 billion) investment fund to turn the city into a cutting-edge biopharmaceutical hub, with a particular focus on the development of Covid-19 vaccines, Xinhua News Agency reported today.
The Biopharmaceutical Industry Equity Investment Fund, managed by conglomerate Shanghai Industrial Investment Holdings, yesterday signed agreements with CanSino Biologics and Shanghai Pharmaceutical Holdings, both frontrunners in China’s race to develop a vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus.
The fund will target the research and development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, which are of great concern to society at the moment, said Zhou Jun, president of Shanghai Industrial. It will also promote cutting-edge fields such as innovative drugs and gene therapy, develop a biomedical industry ecosystem through equity links and build Shanghai into a R&D hub for the biomedical industry.
The fund has attracted almost CNY10 billion in the first round of domestic fundraising. Investors include Shanghai Industrial, Shanghai Pharma, Guotai Junan Securities and the Lingang New Area of Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone.
CanSino’s adenovirus vector vaccine, co-developed with the Academy of Military Science of the People’s Liberation Army, is one of five Covid-19 vaccines that have started Phase III clinical trials in China. The Tianjin-based firm is currently constructing another production line in Shanghai to increase its output capacity.
The fund also signed agreements with Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s School of Medicine, Fudan University’s Human Phenome Institute and US medical device firm Medtronic’s China division yesterday to build a platform to promote Shanghai’s biomedical achievements. The platform will provide special support for the development of top talents and innovative topics at the city’s universities and research institutes.
Editor: Kim Taylor