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Chinas biotech cash injection suddenly drops as U.S. scrutiny intensifies

July 09, 2019 / Ben Adams

China is a big area of opportunity for biotech: It has a population of about 1.4 billion, with a sizable and growing chunk of that demographic succumbing to chronic, middle-class diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Regulation is complex, to say the least, but U.S. and European biotech companies know China is an increasingly important area not just to sell medicines, but to discover and develop them as well. China, too, has been making a big push in the direction of innovation, and is looking to spend considerable sums on Western biopharmas to do so: In the first six months of last year, Chinese investors took part in venture capital funding rounds for U.S. biotech companies worth $1.65 billion. Much of this cash has been used to fill in the “valley of death”: a gap between getting a promising idea into something more tangible, with cash pots of $20 million and $30 million injected into seed rounds for very young startups hoping to start the journey into the cl...