Asian investors back US stem cell company

A consortium led by RimAsia Capital Partners has invested $11m in NeoStem to help the company expand its activities in China. RimAsia's Eric Wei sees 'huge market potential' for stem cell therapies in the country.

Pan-Asian private equity firm RimAsia Capital Partners has led an $11 million round of funding in US-based NeoStem, which manages a network of adult stem cell collection centres.

Other investors besides RimAsia, which invested $5 million, include Shanghai-based Enhance Biomedical Holding and Singapore-based Elancrest Investments.

NeoStem: stores clients' stem cells

The capital invested will be used to support the development of the company’s VSEL (very small embryonic-like) stem cell technology and its activities in China. A part of the funding will also be used to repay $1.1 million received in bridge financing from RimAsia Capital Partners in February and March.

RimAsia is optimistic about the company’s growth opportunities in China as there is huge market potential for stem cell therapies in China, Eric Wei, managing partner at the firm, said in a statement.

NeoStem manages stem cell collection centers in major US cities, allowing people to donate and store their own stem cells for personal use in times of medical need in the future.

Established in 2004, RimAsia is focused on investments in sectors such as technology, consumer products and services, financial services, manufacturing, media and infrastructure services. It invests between $5 million and $30 million per transaction. The firm has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.