Infinity backs life sciences company again

For its second funding round, the Israel- and China-focused private equity firm invested $13m alongside other investors in Chiral Quest Corporation.

Infinity Equity joins venture firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers China and Japan Asia Investment Company as well as alternative investment management firm China Renaissance Capital Investment in a $13 million series B financing of Chiral Quest Corporation, according to Infinity.

Headquartered in New Jersey with operations in Jiashan, China, Chiral creates chiral solutions – a method of drug manufacture which now accounts for 40 percent of the pharmaceuticals market – for the pharmaceutical industry.

This round of funding will help build Chiral’s new plant and research and development centre in the China’s Suzhou Industrial Park. It will also be used to expand its production capabilities.

The investment was made out of Infinity I-China, a $350 million fund targeting late-stage Israeli technology companies and Chinese businesses that develop Israeli technologies.

It follows the fund’s $8 million investment in China Medicine On-Line last June, which further strengthens its position in the area of life sciences in China and the rest of the world, said Bella Ohana, chief scientific officer at Infinity I-China, in a statement. The fund has three deals in the pipeline, according to a source at Infinity.

“In addition to medical, the sectors of agricultural and water clean tech will also be major focuses of Infinity in China in 2009,” added Amir Gal-Or, managing partner of Infinity I-China.

In 2004, Infinity raised its first China-focused fund together with Suzhou Ventures Group, a state-backed venture capital firm.

The firm currently manages more than $600 million through 3 funds, 2 of which are in China. It has a portfolio of 45 companies and has offices in Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Suzhou and New York.