-Ability to ‘turn innovative companies into excellent investments’ is key to success
The healthcare market is one valued in the trillions of Chinese yuan. Compared with other industries, starting a business in the healthcare industry is more difficult and challenging than any other, yet investors and venture capitalists are no less eager to put their money into it.
When interviewed by PEdaily.cn, Nisa Leung, Managing Partner of Qiming Venture Partners, said: “Investment in healthcare is the best investment for mankind, as healthcare is essential to the quality and dignity of life, and, at the same time, such an investment provides mankind with substantial returns and benefits.”
Qiming Venture Partners, founded in 2006, is one of the most active venture capital funds in China and currently has four US-dollar and three RMB funds with over US$1.7 billion in assets under management, forty percent of the funds are invested in the healthcare sector.
Nisa Leung, as Qiming’s Managing Partner responsible for the health care sector in concert with Qiming’s healthcare team, has invested over US$600 million (approx. RMB 4 billion) in the healthcare sector over the past seven years. Nisa Leung further explained: “Qiming currently has investments in nearly 50 companies in the healthcare sector, spanning biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, healthcare services and information technologies.”
After an intensive analysis of biopharmaceutical companies in China in 2009, Nisa Leung invested in Gan & Lee Pharmaceuticals despite their having had no growth for the previous three years. It was Qiming’s first investment in the field and the company’s first investor. Today, Gan & Lee has become China’s largest insulin provider.
In 2014, Nisa invested in Zai Lab, a startup with two employees at the time the investment was made. In just 18 short months, Zai Lab successfully closed US$ 100 million series B financing and in licensed five leading drugs for the Chinese market, including a third generation EGFR targeted lung cancer therapy drug from South Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical. Zai Lab’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Samantha Du was recently recognized for Top Women in Biopharma by sector-leading US journal FierceBiotech.
In recent years, more and more Chinese companies have transformed themselves into leading global players in the field of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, some of which have been invested in by Qiming Venture Partners.
Nisa led many such investments, including Nurotron Biotechnology (Nurotron), the leading company in China and the fourth globally in cochlear implants, cutting the cost of such device by two thirds and making them more affordable for China’s 3 million deaf children; Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology, the company that researched and developed the Ebola vaccine which is now in phase two clinical trial in Africa; and Berry Genomics, a company that is not only at the frontline in the field of gene sequencing, but also the leader in non-invasive DNA prenatal detection.
Currently, Nisa sits on the board of Gan & Lee Pharmaceutical, Zai Lab, Novast Laboratories, Nurotron, Venus Medtech, Goodwill Information Technology, CanSino and Berry Genomics. She was also investor in Citic Pharmaceutical (acquired by Shanghai Pharmaceutical), OriGene Technologies, Shenogen Pharma Group, Beijing Richen Technology, Beijing Aeonmed, VR Medical, Wuxi Vision, ACEA Biosciences and other healthcare companies on behalf of Qiming. Nisa received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS from Cornell University. She is also a council member of the Business School of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and serves on the board of governors of the Hotchkiss School.
In 2014, Nisa and the Qiming health care team made 12 healthcare investments, with an average check amount of US$10 million. Due to her unremitting and professional devotion to, and deep understanding of and proficiency in the field of healthcare, she has the ability to spot the “diamonds in the rough” companies – that are not only excellent financial investments, but bring tangible improvements to the quality of life for millions of Chinese.
She has always advocated a sturdy, “one step at a time” investment strategy that assures stable returns. “In 2016, Qiming plans to continue what it has always done: move slowly and surely forward,” Nisa said. “We need to study the industry extensively and keep a close eye on many companies. Once a company meets our investment criteria, we will commit our investment without hesitation. We believe we will add more and more global companies to our investment portfolio.”