Biotech Firm Antengene Files for Hong Kong IPO

The company targets cancers with a disproportionally high prevalence among Asians.

Shirley Tian
    Aug 28, 2020 7:30 PM  PT
Biotech Firm Antengene Files for Hong Kong IPO
author: Shirley Tian   

A wave of Chinese healthcare firms has hit the Hong Kong IPO market. After Kangji Medical (HK:9997) and Hygeia Healthcare (HK:6078), Antengene Corp, another clinical-stage biotech startup has filed an application for its listing hearing at the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, according to local news. 

It has been reported that the firm aims to raise up to $200 million in the planned Hong Kong initial public offering and has tapped Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan on the share sale.

Based in Shanghai, Antengene is a biopharmaceutical start-up with integrated drug discovery, clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization anchored in the Asia Pacific regions and with a global layout. 

Currently, Antengene has built a product pipeline of 12 clinical and pre-clinical stage programs, obtained 9 IND approvals with 9 ongoing cross-regional clinical trials in the Asia Pacific region.

In particular, the company targets cancers with a disproportionally high prevalence among Asian patients. These cancers include liver, nasopharynx, stomach, bile duct, and certain types of blood cancers.

"In the past, more treatments have been developed for diseases with higher prevalence rates in the western world compared to those more common among Asians," Antengene founder and CEO Jay Mei Jianming said in an interview on the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco earlier this year.

"This is changing, as living and health care standards in parts of China and Asia are approaching those in Western nations, more resources are made available," Jay added. 

When asked why he chose to list in Hong Kong, Jay said: "There is no perfect market, each has its unique strength. Hong Kong's strength lies in its access to international, Chinese, and other Asian investors, which is unique and what made it suitable for Antengene."

Similar to most biotech startup, the company currently has no product approved for commercial sale and has not generated any revenue from product sales.

The firm's total comprehensive loss was 146 million yuan, 323.8 million yuan, 106.8 million yuan, and 537.7 million yuan for the years ended December 31, 2018, and 2019 and the six months ended June 30, 2019, and 2020, respectively. 

The company is well funded and supported by renowned international investors and industry partners. 

Antegene announced that it has successfully closed $97 million in Series C financing last month. The financing was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC with additional support from new investors including GL Ventures (an affiliate of Hillhouse Capital), GIC, CRF, and a large, reputable long-term investor. Existing investors including Qiming Venture Partners and Boyu Capital also participated.

The company closed a $21 million Series A round in August 2017, led by Qiming Venture, and a $120 million Series B in 2018, co-led by Boyu Capital and FountainVest Partners. Also, Celgene (now Bristol-Myers Squibb), a U.S.-based leading biopharmaceutical company became a founding partner and obtained an equity position as an investor in Antengene.