Caixin
Jan 08, 2018 05:11 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Chinese Biopharma Developer Moves to U.S.

KBP BioSciences Co. Ltd. has chosen the Philadelphia area as the site of its new headquarters, according to a company statement. Photo: Visual China
KBP BioSciences Co. Ltd. has chosen the Philadelphia area as the site of its new headquarters, according to a company statement. Photo: Visual China

A Chinese biopharma developer has decided to move its global headquarters to the U.S. in a bid to take advantage of the country’s extensive talent pool and enormous pharmaceutical market.

KBP BioSciences Co. Ltd. has chosen the Philadelphia area as the site of its new headquarters, according to a company statement.

The clinical-stage biotechnology company has attracted some big names in its latest $76 million fundraising round, including the venture capital firm under the government-backed State Development & Investment Corp. and a venture fund under Ping An Insurance.

The move to the eastern U.S. gives KBP BioSciences “access to the exceptional talent base in the region which uniquely includes scientific and business graduates from top universities, experienced biotech entrepreneurs and leading experts,” it said.

Among the talent that the company secured is its new CEO, Brian McVeigh, a 25-year veteran of GlaxoSmithKline PLC who managed the U.K. pharmaceutical giant’s worldwide business development.

McVeigh said that the new funding will allow the company to grow “from its roots as a China-based preclinical development organization into a truly global enterprise.”

KBP BioSciences has several promising drugs in its pipeline. Its best prospect is a drug for cardiovascular disease that has entered the second phase of clinical trials in the U.S.

As the world’s largest market for biopharmaceuticals, the U.S. offers drugmakers huge academic and commercial potential. U.S. firms conduct over half the world’s research and development (R&D) in pharmaceuticals. The biopharmaceutical industry accounts for 17% of all domestic R&D funded by U.S. businesses, according to SelectUSA, a U.S. government program that seeks to attract investment to the country.

Although it is a relatively small player in the biopharmaceutical industry, China is aiming to catch up with the U.S. In a 2017 plan, the National Development and Reform Commission vowed to send some “competitive” companies abroad through mergers and acquisitions, setting up R&D centers and establishing sales networks.

Contact reporter Coco Feng (renkefeng@caixin.com)

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