Recently, Zhongke Guosheng (Hangzhou) Technology Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “GS Biotech”) officially announced the completion of its nearly CNY100 million pre-A round financing, led by Legend Capital. The proceeds will be mainly used for the capacity expansion of core pipeline products 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and 2,5-tetrahydrofuran dimethanol (THFDM), and the continuous development of downstream derivatives.
Founded in 2021 with the vision of “Biomass Change Lives”, GS Biotech is a bio-based material and R&D company dedicated to building a bio-based material industry chain. The members of its founding team graduated from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and have nearly 20 years of research foundation and industrialization experience in the fields of biomass catalytic conversion and furan-based material design and development. At present, the R&D team building has also been completed from biomass, derivatives to polymers, which ensures the cutting-edge of the company’s product development and the availability of end products.
According to Dr. John Zhang, CEO of GS Biotech, the company has taken the development model of promoting the “two-wheel drive” of the dual track as an important strategic direction. On the one hand, the company has completely solved the problems of HMF cost and raw material sources; its original HMF continuous production process, which completed the verification of multi-dimensional cost reduction measures, has greatly reduced the production cost and effectively improved the efficiency, and it is expected that the production cost of HMF will be controlled within RMB10,000 per ton in the future three years from the extraction of non-grain raw material sources to the iterative path of the production process and to the planning of expanding production capacity. Meanwhile, the company has also reserved more than 20 kinds of high-value-added monomers and is simultaneously promoting the verification of the application of each monomer in the terminal market. Moreover, GS Biotech established a joint venture, Xinshengtai Materials, with an AI-powered drug R&D unicorn company XtalPi Inc to focus on using AI technology to accelerate the reverse design of derivatives and improve the development efficiency of downstream derivatives to further accelerate its high-efficiency and accurate market development process.
On the other hand, the company has also made significant progress in the design, R&D and industrialization of degradable new materials. The new biodegradable plastic PEOX, another important pipeline of the company, has completed the 150L pilot scale experiment and obtained market terminal verification. The performance indicators of PEOX can be compared with PGA and the price of the terminal product will be approximately RMB10,000/ton after the large-scale production. With the special performance of the product and the support of policies, many leading enterprises in the industry are negotiating with the company to sign an underwriting agreement to apply PEOX in the field of disposable packagings such as agricultural mulch, plastic bags, straws, and lunch boxes.
Legend Capital said: “Under the background of China’s strategy in carbon peaking and carbon neutrality and the pursuit of sustainable energy development, petroleum-based chemical materials will gradually be replaced by bio-based materials, which are produced from sustainable resources. HMF is an important bio-based platform compound with great potential for downstream derivatives. GS Biotech has pioneered the HMF continuous production process globally and realized the large-scale and low-cost production of HMF. It has opened the entire industry chain from upstream core monomers to terminal applications and innovatively introduced AI and high-throughput machine synthesis technology into the development of downstream derivative products. The core team of GS Biotech graduated from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. With nearly 20 years of research foundation and industrialization experience in the field of biomass catalytic conversion, GS Biotech has shown strong capabilities in continuous R&D, production management, and resource integration. Legend Capital has long focused on technology investments linked to carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, and we look forward to working with GS Biotech to promote technological change in the field of bio-based materials.”
As an interdisciplinary subject of information science, life science and material science, synthetic biology and bio-based materials have always been the direction that Legend Capital has paid close attention to in the field of carbon-neutral technology investment. Legend Capital’s investments in the carbon-neutral field focus on energy decarbonization, vehicle electrification/intelligence, synthetic biology, etc. Energy decarbonization includes photovoltaic, wind power, and smart grid; vehicle electrification/intelligence includes lithium battery vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, battery recycling and others; in the field of synthetic biology and bio-based materials, Legend Capital has invested in many outstanding companies such as Giant Biogene (02367.HK), GS Biotech, Huili Biotech, and Tidetron Bioworks Technology.