SK Holdings on Monday said that it injected 8 billion won ($6.5 million) in Hummingbird Bioscience to secure novel antibody-based medicine technology. The holding company of SK Group became the lead investor in the Singapore-based biotech firm’s 30.6 billion won ($25 million) “Series B” extension funding round.
Hummingbird Bioscience, established in 2015, was founded by former members of Sanofi, an international pharmaceutical company. The biotech company researches novel antibody-based therapeutics considered as immunoproteins that selectively targets and destroys malignant proteins. These particular proteins become the starting point for diseases and tumors.
To date, the recently concluded “Series B” funding round of 30.6 billion won ($25 million) brought Hummingbird Bioscience’s total capital to over 79.6 billion won ($65 million). The company raised funds through strategic partnerships and financing activities.
SK Holdings said that the Singaporean biotech firm with its Rational Antibody Discovery technology dramatically shortens the amount of time spent on research. The platform could predict the structure of a protein and accurately identify the optimal areas for binding within diseased cells.
In a statement, Piers Ingram, CEO and co-founder of Hummingbird Bioscience, believes that the company could deliver significant benefits for patients with its strong portfolio of promising new therapies. He added that with SK Holdings joining their investor base, the new funds would further advance and support the development of their lead programs.
Growing Biopharma Market
Hummingbird pledged to utilize the raised funds to strengthen the company’s research and development (R&D) capabilities.
Heritas Capital Management, a participant in the Series B Funding, said that supporting foremost innovative biotech companies that address patients’ needs remains a top priority, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Quoting EvaluatePharma, a market researcher, SK Holdings, said that the total biopharma market would grow from 298 trillion won ($243 billion) in 2018 to 475 trillion won ($388 billion) in 2024, a yearly average increase of 8 percent.
In 2017, SK Holdings injected 1.22 trillion won ($1 billion) in Eureka Midstream, an energy company located in the United States. Last year, the company invested in Harbour BioMed, a China-based bioventure.
SK Holdings said it would continue to strive to make strategic investments in the field of biopharma development. The company added that it would diversify its portfolio beyond memory chips and telecommunications.