WuXi PharmaTech closed an $290 million venture fund, which now it is turning its focus on acquiring and buying stakes in American and Chinese biotechnology startups.
The fund, which the company said exceeded its $200 million target, will pay for investments in early-stage biotech and pharmaceutical companies. WuXi's first foray into VC, a $63 million fund debuted in 2011, bought the CRO stakes in 18 companies including U.S. biotechs Juno Therapeutics and Agios Pharmaceuticals, plus Chinese upstarts Hua Medicine and Adagene.
The move comes a week after WuXi abandoned its public listing and went private in a $3.3 billion deal led by founder and CEO Ge Li. The CRO, on pace for about $800 million in revenue this year, has been broadening its business model beyond traditional outsourced clinical trials, buying big into genomics and signing risk-sharing R&D deals with its pharma partners. And Li, joined by a syndicate of investors, believes its brightest future lies away from the public markets.