Refocus On China: Ark Bio Evolves As It Plans Shanghai Listing
Eyes R&D In Less Crowded Sectors
Shanghai-based Ark Biosciences has expanded its pipeline from the RSV-targeting drug ziresovir, licensed from Roche, to pediatric and fibrosis treatments, where there are largely untapped opportunities in China. In a strategy shift, the company is betting on the domestic market instead of going global.
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Founded five years ago, Shanghai-based Ark Bio sees big potential in the less crowded pediatric antiviral treatment market. Now the start-up is in Phase II development for its lead asset ziresovir for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, which was licensed from Roche.
10 orphan drugs imported from overseas, and 40 new drug approvals, including many from domestic developers, capped 2023 as one of the busiest years for China's drug regulatory agency, as Beijing pivoted to emphasizing affordable innovation and expanding access to newer therapies for rare conditions.
Several Chinese biotech developments during the Lunar New Year break have put investors on high alert, namely the continued share price slide of Chinese biotech bellwether WuXi Apptec, Lianbio ceasing operations and I-Mab divesting its China business to become a fully US-focused company.