HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Mainland-based Ascletis Pharma launches IPO in Hong Kong's first pre-profit biotech listing

The firm is selling 224.1 million shares at $12 to $16 apiece.

Bloomberg reports that Hangzhou-based Ascletis Pharma Inc., marks the first biotech company to take advantage of the city’s new listing rules as it offers 224.1 million shares at $12 to $16 apiece. 

The firm is aiming to raise as much as US$457m in its IPO that has already lured Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC as cornerstone investor.

About half a dozen biotech firms are expected to list by year-end, Wendy Pan, a partner at law firm Sidley Austin LLP told Reuters which includes US-based Stealth BioTherapeutics and Hua Medicine have already followed with IPO filings in the city.

Also read: Can Hong Kong successfully lure biotech firms from Nasdaq?

The move comes as Hong Kong earlier introduced sweeping reforms to its listing regime allowing biotech firms with no track record of profitability to list in the Main Board.

The biotech sector was chosen as initial focus in widening market access as they make up a majority of companies in the pre-revenue stage seeking a Main Board listing and activities like clinical trials tend to be highly regulated under the current regime.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

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