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Startup stories: Chinese company ZXBio develops and manufactures antibody-based medical products

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When did you get the idea for this startup?

In 2014, I learned that a friend with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had chosen traditional treatment because of the high cost of Rituximab, a biological antibody with excellent therapeutic efficacy. At that time, these advanced therapeutic drugs were almost non-existent in China. I realized that China lacked domestic enterprises capable of manufacturing biological diagnostic tools and pharmaceutical drugs. After studying at Yale SOM, I identified in vitro diagnostic crude antibodies and flow cytometry antibody reagents as a good entry market in China, and launched ZXBio in China in 2017.

What is the problem you are trying to solve or the gap you are trying to fill?

For in vitro diagnostics (IVD) and pharmaceutical industry, most antibody raw materials, diagnostic reagents and biological drugs are imported from foreign companies. China lacks R&D and manufacturing capabilities for these biological materials. I want to provide local people with low-cost, high-quality diagnostic and pharmaceutical products, filling a critical gap in the upstream value chain of the Chinese pharmaceutical and IVD industry.

What has been the most important resource that Yale SOM has brought to your startup?

Yale helped me develop an approach to thinking about my personal and professional development. I learned to strive for excellence while developing skills that will generate value in the market. At Yale SOM, I was exposed to the worlds of finance, consulting, and business. I started to appreciate the whole landscape of the healthcare industry, which helped me make decisions about my own career path. I also worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital as a clinical trial coordinator. The experience helped me understand how laboratory science, drug development and clinical application work together.

What is the biggest milestone your startup has taken since graduating?

Since our establishment, ZXBio has developed and launched hundreds of diagnostic reagents for cancer, infectious diseases and immunological diseases. We have built a 10,700 square foot antibody development platform and a 10,500 square foot GMP facility for the production of antibody diagnostic reagents. We also operate a 20,000 square foot third-party diagnostic center, and in 2022 we launched a mall in Shanghai. Also in 2022, we closed a pre-A financing with a Chinese A-share listed DIV company, Zhejiang Orient Gene Biotech Co., Ltd, which is one of the companies with the highest market value in China’s IVD market