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Brii Biosciences Launches to Bring Innovative Medicines to Chinese Patients

- Committed funding of $260M includes ARCH Venture Partners, 6 Dimensions Capital, Boyu Capital, Yunfeng Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Blue Pool Capital

- Exclusive agreement with Vir Biotechnology, Inc. grants greater China rights for up to four infectious disease assets

- Partnership with Alibaba Group's AliHealth to better identify and educate patients, and better connect them to clinics, healthcare resources, and medicines

SHANGHAI and DURHAM, N.C., May 24, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Brii Bio, a company committed to serving patients' needs and improving public health in China, today announced its launch with significant partnerships and financing.

Brii Bio aims to accelerate the development and delivery of breakthrough medicines in China through partnerships, best-in-class research and development, and the disruptive application of digital and data insight.

"The pace of innovation has accelerated over the past decade, resulting in dramatically better treatments and cures for life-threatening diseases, but the reach of those innovations in China has been limited," said Co-founder, President, and CEO Dr. Zhi Hong. "Delivering innovative medicines to Chinese patients constitutes not just a market opportunity but an opportunity to significantly improve public health. China needs faster, affordable access to new therapies, and has the public health infrastructure and advanced digital and data technologies to enable that at scale."

Brii, which stands for breakthrough innovation and insight, launches with three foundational and strategic partnerships that will accelerate infectious disease drug development and commercialization in China and leverage technology and data to drive improvements to the Chinese healthcare system and outcomes for patients. These include:

  • A partnership with Vir, a leading U.S.-based biotech focused on infectious diseases, that grants Brii Bio options on exclusive greater China rights for up to four assets in Vir's portfolio. This therapeutic pipeline holds the potential to prevent, treat and cure a wide range of infectious diseases.
  • A first-of-its-kind digital and data insight partnership with AliHealth, the healthcare arm of Alibaba Group to collaborate and explore disruptive approaches to optimize clinical and commercial development efforts by capturing value evidence and improving patients' experience with new therapies. This partnership will also explore ways to accelerate the uptake of new medicines and support appropriate use of new medicines.

"China faces significant medical needs in the prevention, treatment, and cure of serious infectious diseases, yet presents challenges for pharmaceutical innovation," said Vir CEO George Scangos, Ph.D. "Brii Bio combines a highly successful leadership team, clinical skills, and understanding of Chinese medical and cultural needs. We are happy to be their partner in accelerating the development of medicines for infectious diseases, not only in China, but globally."

"Only by providing better healthcare solutions and broader access to innovative medicines can we deliver real benefits to more patients," said AliHealth Chairman Eddie Wu. "The partnership between AliHealth and Brii Bio can bring our cutting edge consumer platforms and digital data capabilities to optimizing the life cycle of medicine discovery, development, and delivery. With improved efficiency, we will deliver more affordable and patient friendlier innovations to China."

In addition to the Vir and AliHealth partnerships, Brii Bio has entered into a memorandum of understanding with WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics for priority access to WuXi's research and development capabilities.

"WuXi's mission has always been to build a technology and capability platform to enable anyone and any company to discover, develop and manufacture healthcare products to benefit patients," said Dr. Ge Li, Chairman of WuXi AppTec Group. "I share Brii Bio's mission to improve public health in China, and many of the leadership team members had already delivered some of the biggest medicines in our industry. I look forward to supporting them."

Brii Bio's initial funding was led by ARCH Venture Partners, 6 Dimensions Capital, Boyu Capital, Yunfeng Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Blue Pool Capital.

"By bringing together clinically differentiated assets with a world-class team, partners, and funders, Brii Bio represents a long-term investment in building a leading independent biotech company in China and in the country's public health," said ARCH Venture Partners Co-founder and Managing Director Robert Nelsen.

The company is headquartered in the People's Republic of China and the United States, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, San Francisco, and Durham, North Carolina.

Company Leadership

The Brii Bio leadership team includes recognized industry leaders with a strong track record of discovering and developing novel medicines.

  • Zhi Hong, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President, and CEO—previously served as Senior Vice President and Head of the Infectious Diseases Therapy Area Unit at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK);
  • Li Yan, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer—previously served in senior roles at GSK and Merck;
  • Lianhong Xu, Ph.D., SVP and Head of Medicinal Chemistry—co-invented several blockbuster antiviral therapies at Gilead Sciences;
  • Jean-Luc Girardet, Ph.D., SVP and Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences—discovered and launched new gout drugs at Ardea Biosciences (AstraZeneca);
  • Qing Zhu, Ph.D., VP and Head of Biopharmaceutical Research—brings a decade of biopharma experience at MedImmune to the new role;
  • Lisa Beck, VP of Business Development—brings over 20 years of transactional experience and was most recently at Alexion Pharmaceuticals;
  • James Klein, interim Chief Financial Officer—brings 20 years of experience as CFO of several biotech and pharma companies including Triangle Pharmaceuticals.

Strategic Advisors

  • John Maraganore, Ph.D., CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
  • Moncef Slaoui, Ph.D., Former Chairman of Global Research and Development and Chairman of Vaccines division at GSK
  • David D. Ho, M.D., Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at The Rockefeller University
  • Thomas O. Daniel, M.D., former President of Research & Early Development at Celgene
  • Chen Dong, Ph.D., Dean, School of Medicine at Tsinghua University (Beijing)
  • Clay B. Thorp, General Partner of Hatteras Venture Partners

Board of Directors

  • Leon Chen, CEO and Founder of 6 Dimensions Capital
  • Zhi Hong, Co-founder, President, and CEO of Brii Bio
  • Robert Nelsen, Co-founder and Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners
  • George A. Scangos, CEO of Vir Biotechnology, Inc.
  • Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia China
  • Sean Tong, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Boyu Capital
  • David Yu, Co-founder and Chairman of Yunfeng Capital

About Brii Biosciences
Brii Biosciences (Brii Bio) is a company committed to serving patients' needs and improving public health in China. Founded in early 2018 with operations in the People's Republic of China and the United States, the company focuses on accelerating innovation and optimizing access to the latest medicines for Chinese patients. Brii Bio helps global partners drive growth and improve return on investment through better understanding of Chinese healthcare systems and access to the world's second largest pharmaceutical market. The company's focus is treatments for chronic illnesses with significant burdens, including infectious diseases, liver and lung diseases, and other illnesses. For more information, visit www.briibio.com.

Media contact

Morgan Warners (US)
+1 202-337-0808
mwarners@gpg.com

Michael Wang, Ph.D.(China)
michael.wang@briibio.com

Cision

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SOURCE Brii Biosciences