Chicago Entrepreneur Goes Global, Raising More Than Thirty Million in the B-round

The SparX Group of Cayman Island recently announced the closing of a B-round fund-raising of over 30 million USD. Co-founded by Dr. Gui-Dong Zhu, an Abbott/AbbVie alumnus, the emerging biotech power develops innovative anticancer biologics utilizing the company’s integrated platform for bispecific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates. HighLight Capital (HLC) and Rotating Boulder Fund co-led this round of fund-raising.

Prior to incorporation of the SparX Group, Dr. Zhu co-founded  Sparx Therapeutics in 2018. Within 3 years, the young biotech company had built an integrated multi-component SAILING™ antibody discovery platform combined with a sophisticated AI-based target mining algorithm, yielding multiple IND-ready drug candidates. Sparx Therapeutics evolved into a significant player leading innovative biologics discovery, particularly in the Chicago land.

“Incorporation of the SparX Group is the next phase of my entrepreneurship, and is also a major step for SparX going global”, commented Dr. Zhu who serves as the CEO and president of the group. The new company contains four major sectors including a Delaware-based SparX Biopharmaceutical focusing on R&D that is also the engine and powerhouse of the group, a Hong Kong-based SparX Biotech for business development, a Yangzhou-based SparX (Jiangsu) for process development and commercial production, and a Shanghai-based subsidiary for drug registration and marketing. “Bolstering human immunity by employing empowered antibody therapies is SparX’s primary focus of interest” added Dr. Zhu. SparX Biopharmaceutical’s sophisticated antibody discovery platform, boosted by a newly developed but extremely novel and effective bispecific antibody format and four cutting-edge ADC technologies, makes targeting innate immunity for oncology applications more effective than ever before. Our in-house cGMP audited facility in Chicago enables production of the antibody drug products required for IND filing and clinical development. The completion of the ongoing Yangzhou project provides both the capability and sufficient manufacturing capacity for 5 commercial launches in parallel. The initial phase of  construction is expected to be completed before the end of 2022, fulfilling the CMC needs for more than 12 programs in clinical trials at various stages of development.

“The fund will be primarily used for moving the current four first-in-class biological drug candidates into various stages of clinical development”, explained HLC team. “In addition to an impressive pipeline, SparX’s world-class antibody discovery platform makes SparX among the most productive and innovative biotech companies developing antibody-based therapeutics.  We are glad to be part of SparX’s ambitious goal in becoming the next Genentech type of biopharma.”

“We like SparX’s vision, which if becomes a reality will disrupt cancer treatment”, commented by Yu Zeng, a managing partner of Rotating Boulder, “SparX’s strategies strike a good balance between innovation and practicality. The technology platforms built in the last few years give SparX a comfortable competitive edge. As the angel investor we were impressed by the milestones achieved by the company and are glad to support its future growth”.

About SparX Group

Headquartered in the Cayman Islands, the SparX Group has a mission of “restoring and bolstering human immune system using empowered antibody therapies”. The group company consists of four sectors focusing on different phases of pharmaceutical development. The Delaware-based SparX Biopharmaceutical serves as the engine and powerhouse for the discovery of novel biologic therapies. This subsidiary of SparX employs a sophisticated AI-based target mining algorithm, which is combined with an integrated multi-component SAILING™ antibody optimization platform to yield novel target/therapeutic combinations.  This subsidiary also possesses a cGMP-audited pilot plant for antibody drug manufacturing and characterization. Yangzhou-based SparX (Jiangsu) provides manufacturing capabilities sufficient for 5 commercial launches in parallel and the CMC needs for more than 12 programs in clinical trials at various stages of development. SparX Group will be evolving into a full-scale biopharmaceutical covering all phases of biologics drug development and commercialization.