In for the China biotech gold rush, BeiGene eyes monster $800M-plus Hong Kong IPO
Fast on the heels of Ascletis’ record $400 million raise on the Hong Kong stock exchange, BeiGene is proposing its own IPO in the city — to run parallel with its current listing on Nasdaq. And they aren’t thinking small.
The Beijing-based biotech $BGNE is mum about the details, letting slip only that it’s offering 65,600,000 of its ordinary shares — 13 of which would make one American Depositary Share. Given its current stock price, that would amount to a whopping $873 million raise.
Global institutions have dibs on 91% of those shares, while the retail public in Hong Kong has been allocated 9%.
For a bit of perspective on how soon this may happen, Ascletis posted its post-hearing document on July 10 and is now slated to start trading on August 1. BeiGene’s paperwork went up three days ago.
A successful IPO here would mark a milestone for HKEX, which has been angling to become an IPO destination for biotech upstarts, especially the kind that’s been popping up in mainland China the past decade. BeiGene, a Chinese company that’s enjoyed immense success on the Nasdaq, had often been cited alongside Zai Lab and Chi-Med as an impetus for Hong Kong to change its rules.
It would certainly also drive some discussion whether the HKEX is building a biotech bubble. In the meantime, expect plenty of additional IPO action.
Helmed by co-founder John Oyler, BeiGene spreads its operations between an R&D center and a clinical development office in Beijing, an office in Suzhou and four other locations in the US, including one in Cambridge, MA.
In its filing, BeiGene wrote that it believes it’s “well positioned to capture the significant market opportunities in China” with its core assets zanubrutinib, tislelizumab and pamiparib, all of which would benefit from the raise, from clinical trials to registration and commercialization in both China and the US.
And just ahead of the start of the week, BeiGene announced that their PD-1 tislelizumab — partnered with Celgene $CELG — scored stellar data in a small Phase II trial for classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma among patients who had either failed or couldn’t take autologous stem cell transplantation. This is their first pivotal trial, and it underscores why Celgene inked a $1.4 billion deal to buy into the drug — which may end up as the 7th new checkpoint to hit the global market.