Ever since the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) overhauled its listing rules to welcome pre-revenue biotech companies in April 2018, Hong Kong has become the largest biotech fundraising hub in Asia, and the second largest in the world after Nasdaq, HKEX executives said Tuesday at the bourse’s biotech summit. The biotech IPO pipeline continues to grow and pre-revenue companies are more accepted into the city’s financial system.
BEIJING – Beijing-based Immunotech Biopharm Ltd. made a strong debut as the first pre-revenue cellular immunotherapy firm to trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), raising $142 million via its IPO. Trading under the ticker 6978, the company’s share price closed at HK$15.48 (US$2) on July 10, up 40.7% from its offer price at HK$11.
Amid a world that has been brought to its knees by the COVID-19 pandemic, the biopharma industry has learned how to quickly adapt under these extreme circumstances. Not only has it rapidly brought to bear huge research efforts to uncover potential therapeutics and vaccines to counter the circulating coronavirus, but also it has learned how to conduct its business activities in a completely different way. For example, the pandemic hasn't stopped biopharmas from going public, with 15 companies graduating to the public arena in June alone. These financings have contributed to the $62 billion that has been generated in combined global public and private company financings in the first half of the year.
BEIJING – Beijing-based cellular immunotherapy firm Immunotech Biopharm Ltd. said June 28 that it intends to raise up to HK$1.1 billion (US$141.9 million) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on July 10, with shares priced between HK$10.5 and HK$11 apiece.
Money raised through biopharma financings so far in 2020 is double the amount raised within the same timeframe of 2019, partly due to two large financings completed in May by Sanofi SA, which is working on candidates to treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
San Diego-based Exagen Diagnostics Inc. has a somewhat unique business model. It's aiming to both improve diagnostics and monitoring for autoimmune patients, but also to partner with biopharmas to promote better testing – and even to market related therapeutics to autoimmune specialists.
Washington-based life sciences conglomerate Danaher Corp. has executed a long-anticipated spinout for its dental products business Envista Holdings Corp. via a $589 million IPO. Based in Brea, Calif., the company priced a bit below the middle of the anticipated share price range at $22 and sold 26.8 million shares, as it had planned.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based 10x Genomics Inc. priced its initial public offering to raise $390 million and then immediately climbed in the first hours of trading. The single-cell sequencing company had upwardly revised its share price range twice – and then priced above the latest one at $39 per share, heading to above $55 (NASDAQ:TXG) in its first few hours as a public company. That gave it a market cap of about $5.1 billion. 10x Genomics also took advantage of its momentum by boosting the number of shares to 10 million from the anticipated 9 million.
Although investor sentiment continues to remain low and unlikely to change for the remainder of the year, it seems that fact has fallen on deaf ears of those companies looking to graduate to the public ranks. Already in the first few days of September, five biopharma companies have added themselves to the IPO runway, bringing the number of pending U.S. offerings to 12, according to BioWorld.