[THE INVESTOR] CJ Healthcare, the pharmaceutical unit of CJ Group, said on Nov. 29 that it has invested 2 billion won (US$1.84 million) in a Korean biotech startup Apcontech that develops bispecific antibodies.
Founded in 2013, Apcontech is working on antibodies against severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, a tick-borne infectious disease with a high fatality rate.
According to CJ Healthcare, the biotech firm has drug candidates which have the potential to be global first-in-class therapies including cancer treatments and eye disorder medications.
“The equity investment is not just a financial funding but also a strategic one. We are actively reviewing ways to collaborate on the tasks and technologies that Apcontech has,” a CJ Healthcare official said.
The investment is a part of its 15.2 billion won worth venture capital fund it set up with Timewise Investment, CJ Group’s investment affiliate.
In March, it made the first investment in another local startup Neuracle Science, which is developing Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
Meanwhile, CJ Healthcare confirmed in November that it has been put up for sale as the parent group has opted to offload less-profitable businesses.
According CEO Kang Seok-hee it plans to select preferred bidders by early December to begin due diligence and start negotiations in January. The firm has hired Morgan Stanley as the underwriter.
CJ CheilJedang owns a 100 percent stake in CJ Healthcare.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)