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Saturday, Jan 16, 2021

How hot is Hong Kong's biotech IPO market? Two biotechs just raised $800M total

How hot is Hong Kong's biotech IPO market? Two biotechs just raised $800M total

A pair of Chinese biotechs have collectively hauled in close to $800 million upon their public debuts in Hong Kong, tucking two hefty entrants to the steady stream of HKEX IPOs. Everest Medicines raised $423 million to bankroll its pipeline of in-licensed drugs, while Genor Biopharma is pouring its $371 million proceeds into the cancer and autoimmune pipeline.
Both had closed megarounds in June just before applying for a listing, highlighting the global nature of the current biotech boom. Hillhouse played a big role in both crossover financings, as Everest reaped $310 million and Genor grabbed $160 million.

The most high-profile asset in Everest’s portfolio at the moment is Trodelvy, the crown jewel of Gilead’s $21 billion buyout of Immunomedics. The company set its eyes on the antibody-drug conjugate long before Gilead did, striking a landmark deal to in-license a therapy that had just been rejected by the FDA.

Cancer is just one of many areas Everest is building around.

With help from its deep-pocketed and well-connected founders at C-Bridge Capital, the biotech brought in top execs as well as a wide range of programs in immunology, cardio-renal and infectious diseases.

The company said the IPO cash will fund development and commercialization of its four anchor products all in pivotal trials — other planned clinical work and more BD activities. It priced at $7.10 (HK$55) per share.

For Genor, the cash infusion pushes them over the finish line with its in-house breast cancer drug coprelotamab, for which Phase III studies are complete and an NDA is planned for later this year.

“We aim to be a leading breast cancer therapies provider among domestic firms in three to five years,” CEO Guo Feng told the South China Morning Post. “We are building a sales team for multiple drug candidates in this category, and our superior manufacturing capabilities mean we can make a good profit even in a competitive market.”

After that, he has also lined up a slate of antibodies against some of the best-known targets in oncology such as PD-1 and VEGF. Then there’s a new research lab in San Francisco dedicated to generating bispecifics.

Genor priced at $3.10 (HK$24) a pop to bring in substantially more than $200 million, which it was reportedly eyeing last year before bringing in the Series B

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