Chinese pharma powerhouse Hansoh joins fledgling biotechs in the Hong Kong IPO line
More than four months after first opening its doors to a big crowd of R&D focused biotechs, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has seen a special guest walk in: A storied company running a profitable innovative and generic drug business in China.
Jiangsu Hansoh is filing for an IPO two years after rumors of a $3 billion public debut first surfaced. It was founded and still run by Huijuan Zhong, one half of a power couple towering over China’s pharma industry. Her husband, Piaoyang Sun, is the head of Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine, internationally known for a PD-1 drug Incyte paid millions to partner with.
Zhong currently holds a controlling stake in the company — 78% — through a vertical line of entities, while Cen Junda of Apex Medical claims 19%. Hillhouse Capital is in for 3% based on a 2016 investment.
In the 20-plus years since Zhong first created the company, she has built an integrated R&D and manufacturing operation with commercial drugs in six therapeutic areas — central nervous system, oncology, antibiotics, diabetes, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular. In 2017, Hansoh booked around $900 million (RMB $6185.5 million) in revenue.
Two key contributors to that figure are its generic olanzapine tablets — sold as a treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — and copycat version of chemotherapy drug pemetrexed.
While this kind of first-to-market generic will remain a core focus for Hansoh as a public company, it also has an ambitious plan for the novel compounds in its giant pipeline, which totals “nearly 100 drug candidates.”
In its application, Hansoh spotlighted four of these among the 30 assets it’s looking to launch between now and 2020: HS-10296, an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor for non-small cell lung cancer; flumatinib mesylate, which attempts to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia by targeting the Bcr-Abl gene; hepatitis B drug HS-10234; and a long-acting GLP-1 therapy dubbed polyethylene glycol loxenatide.