Chinese venture capital funds have pumped $1.4 billion into private US biotechnology firms in the first quarter of this year, as Beijing seeks to become a leader in the development of new medicines, Bloomberg reports.
Chinese cash accounted for 40% of the total investment in US biotech during the first three months of this year, according to Pitchbook. This is a huge leap from China’s share of investment in the market during the same period last year, which was only 7%.
For China, investing in American biotech startups allows it to gain access to novel therapies earlier than easier than would otherwise be possible. They can also gain ownership of new medicines before they come to market, and share in the high returns that may come with this.
The flood of Chinese investment is also triggering a gold rush in the US biotech industry, with a string of small firms surging to multibillion-dollar valuations.