Two More “Unicorns” Born in Chengdu High-tech Zone!
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On April 27, the Great Wall Enterprise Institute released the “China Unicorn Company Research Report 2021”. According to the report, two companies from Chengdu High-tech Zone—Chengdu WestVac Biopharma Co., Ltd. (“WestVac“) and FITURE—successfully made into the list of new unicorn companies in 2021, and there are 6 unicorn companies so far in Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, indicating the zone has become the main gathering place of unicorn companies and the incubator of potential unicorns in Southwest China.
Chengdu WestVac Biopharma Co., Ltd.
Company valuation reached more than 6 billion yuan in less than 10 months
Located in Chengdu Tianfu International Bio-town, WestVac, registered in July 2020, is founded by the team of academician Wei Yuquan, director of the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy at West China Hospital, Sichuan University and incubated by Chengdu Advanced Medical Science Center, a new research and development institution jointly built by Chengdu High-tech Zone and Sichuan University.
WestVac is dedicated to the development and industrialization of several products such as novel coronavirus vaccine, influenza virus vaccine, tumor vaccine and cell therapy. The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the company is one of the 11 vaccine candidates approved by the state for clinical trials, and also the first recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine made from insect cells in China.
In August last year, WestVac’s recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine was approved for Phase I-III clinical trials by the National Medical Products Administration and the Phase I and Phase II clinical trials have been completed. At present, Chengdu Tianfu International Bio-town is actively helping WestVac to accelerate the Phase III clinical trial of the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine and strive to put it into production within the year.
During the outbreak of the pandemic last year, Chengdu Hi-tech Zone paid great attention to the vaccine research progress made by Academician Wei Yuquan's team and carried out the transformation of results and business incubation in advance, which directly led to the establishment of WestVac. At the same time, Chengdu Hi-tech Zone integrated the strength of all parties through early investment, building plants on behalf of the company, recommending financing, etc. to fully fuel the rapid growth of WestVac and promote the company to achieve the big leap from PI to IP and IPO, leveraging nearly 200 times of asset. Through Series A and B financing, the company's current valuation has reached more than 6 billion yuan in less than 10 months.
Chengdu High-tech Zone accelerates the construction of new R&D institutions.
As a new unicorn enterprise, WestVac is a result of Chengdu Advanced Medical Science Center’s (a new R&D institution) intensified efforts on innovative research in biomedical niche areas as well as practice of industrial technology innovation and transformation of scientific research results. In addition to the platform-based new R&D institutions like Chengdu Advanced Medical Science Center, Chengdu High-tech Zone is also accelerating the construction of Tsinghua University 3D Mixed Reality Research Center (Chengdu) Industrial Technology Research Institute, Industrial Information Security (Sichuan) Innovation Center, Sichuan Terahertz Communications Institute and other new R&D institutions specializing in frontier technologies.
Through the “Minshan Action plan” to introduce an open competition mechanism to select the best candidates, Chengdu High-tech Zone will build 50 new R&D institutions in the next five years to continuously stimulate the creative vitality in the zone, accelerate the scientific and technological innovation and transformation of results, cultivate a number of technical experts and industry leaders with core competitiveness, and sow the "golden seeds" that are expected to grow into unicorn enterprises.
Implementing four-level gradient cultivation for enterprises
Creating a good ecology for innovation and entrepreneurship
The two new unicorn enterprises in Chengdu High-tech Zone made into the list are typical representatives of fast growth, high technology content, strong profitability, new industrial model and high development potential, which is also a microcosm of Chengdu High-tech Zone helping enterprise develop and creating an ecological center for cultivating science and technology enterprises.
At present, Chengdu Hi-tech Zone has built an incubation network system consisting of professional parks, crowdsourcing spaces, incubators, accelerators, professional buildings, professional companies, etc., boasts 56 national and provincial incubation carriers reaches, over 5 million square meters of incubation carriers in total, 11,361 enterprises settled online and offline, 212.7 effective invention patents owned by 10,000 people, 20,245 effective invention patents in total, and has flexibly introduced 6 Nobel Prize winners and 411 national talents.
As the first national independent innovation demonstration zone in the west, Chengdu High-tech Zone always takes industrial cultivation as the “lifeline project”. As early as November 2018, Chengdu High-tech Zone released 18 new policies on industrial cultivation to accelerate the construction of a gradient cultivation system focusing on the rapid growth of eagle enterprises in seed stage, the expansion of gazelle enterprises, the efficiency enhancement of unicorn enterprises and the industry integration of platform-based ecological leading enterprises.
In order to encourage the development of unicorn enterprises, Chengdu High-tech Zone has provided "real money" to cultivate and support unicorn enterprises.
For enterprises recognized as unicorn enterprises and potential unicorn enterprises in Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, a reward of 1 million yuan and 500,000 yuan will be given respectively.
For potential unicorn enterprises and unicorn enterprises whose business revenue reaches 500 million yuan and 1 billion yuan for the first time, a one-time reward of 100,000 yuan and 200,000 yuan will be given respectively.
For potential unicorn enterprises and unicorn enterprises which pay taxes exceeding 10 million yuan for the first time, a subsidy equal to 15% and 30% of the incremental part of their actual contribution to the locality will be given respectively, which will be mainly used for expanding markets, strengthening R&D and improving core competitiveness.
In the next step, Chengdu High-tech Zone will focus on the construction of new R&D institutions, and take "deploying innovation chain around the industrial chain and laying out industrial chain around the innovation chain" as the basic path of innovation-driven transformation development, so as to accelerate the construction of science and technology innovation platforms, improve the science and technology innovation system with high efficiency, build an ecological center for cultivating science and technology enterprises, and construct high-quality development power source.