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Biotech Startup Opens R&D Laboratory in Hong Kong

Hong Kong provides the infrastructure, business and financial platform for innovative companies.

Founded in April 2018, Biotheus is a biomedical research company focusing on the discovery and development of next generation antibody-based therapeutics. With their headquarters located in Zhuhai and research laboratories in Hong Kong and Suzhou, the company has R&D capabilities including antibody discovery, process development and analytical assessment platforms with a pilot plant that would facilitate IND (Investigational New Drug)-enabling activities. 

Biotheus set up a R&D laboratory in Hong Kong to focus on the innate arm of immunity and its contribution to cancer treatment. Headed by Suki Lee Man Yan, previously principal investigator and group leader at the University of Hong Kong, the team in Hong Kong will carry out most of the biological  target selection and screening of potential drug candidates targeting innate immunity, working closely with the antibody discovery team in Zhuhai. 

According to Dr Andy Tsun, Co-founder & Vice President of Biotheus, Hong Kong offers an abundant supply of local and international biomedical expertise, which led the company to set up their research base in the city. “With proficiency in English and Chinese, our Hong Kong team is a bridge in facilitating research projects with different labs in Australia, Singapore, North America and Mainland China,” Dr Tsun said. “The sound legal and intellectual property infrastructure in Hong Kong are also the main reasons and advantages of why we chose Hong Kong as a major research establishment.” 

Ample Opportunities from the Development of the GBA

“With opportunities brought by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area (GBA), Hong Kong will act as a business and financial platform for innovative companies, like us, looking to access the international market,” he added.

Biotheus set up its research centre in the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) for its vibrant biotech ecosystem and support for startups. Dr Tsun remarked, “we picked HKSTP as our second research centre because it is a complete innovation and technology base camp for R&D, testing, fundraising and commercialisation.” 

“Also, we believe that HKSTP could provide us with a full range of infrastructure, facilities and support services throughout our drug discovery and development journey.”   

Biotheus’ plan is to have its third-round fundraising in the next six months for bringing its leading assets through early clinical trials, aiming to develop a strong pipeline and have several products from early to late stage clinical development within two to three years. 

“We are also actively looking for global strategic partners to bring our assets to patients around the world, and to a wider market,” Dr Tsun concluded. 


Fast Facts

  • Headquartered in Zhuhai with R&D labs in Suzhou and Hong Kong and advisors in Singapore, Australia, and North America
  • The R&D laboratory in Hong Kong is to focus on the innate arm of immunity and its contribution to cancer treatment
  • By March 2019, a total of US$35 million was raised to fund its expanding therapeutics pipeline

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