May 28, 2018 05:02 PM

Quick Take: Jack Ma-Backed Biotech Receives $260 Million Investment

Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

Brii Biosciences, a new biotech firm that aims to serve the Chinese market, has announced $260 million in funding on its first day of operation.

Investors in the company — which was officially open for business on Thursday with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, San Francisco and Durham, North Carolina — include Sequoia Capital and Yunfeng Capital, which was co-founded by Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma, according to a Brii Bio statement.

Brii Bio will focus on treatments for chronic illnesses, such as infectious diseases and liver and lung diseases. CEO and co-founder Hong Zhi, a GlaxoSmithKline veteran with experience in infectious disease therapy, said that “China faces significant medical needs in the prevention, treatment and cure of serious infectious diseases.”

The core team of the newly founded company also constitutes experts from global pharmaceutical players Merck & Co., Gilead and AstraZeneca.

Brii Bio has already secured major partners for marketing and research. American infectious disease treatment developer Vir Biotechnology Inc. has granted the company exclusive Greater China rights for up to four products.

In addition, Brii Bio has partnered with Alibaba’s health care unit AliHealth, which has abundant patient data, to help Brii optimize the clinical and commercial development of its drugs.

Other Chinese partners will be WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics, contract research organizations that are both subsidiaries of WuXi PharmaTech. The collaboration will give Brii Bio priority access to their research and development capabilities.

Contact reporter Coco Feng (

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