In­no­Care IPO over­sub­scribed 300x as Hong Kong in­vestors turned to biotech amid runoff

For­get the glob­al stock melt­down. Or at least Chi­nese biotech In­no­Care did, forg­ing ahead with a more than $250-mil­lion IPO in Hong Kong de­spite the ex­change be­ing in the midst of a King­da Ka-es­que freefall.

It worked. In­no­Care wrote in a fil­ing that re­tail in­vestors sub­scribed to 7.98 bil­lion shares – about 300 times the amount the num­ber of­fered to them, ac­cord­ing to the South Chi­na Morn­ing Post. With in­sti­tu­tion­al in­vestors agree­ing to chip in and buy US$164 mil­lion (HK$1.28 bil­lion) of shares, the com­pa­ny will raise $289 mil­lion (HK$2.2 bil­lion). Shares priced at the high end of an HK$8.18 to HK$8.95 range.

In­no­Care’s suc­cess was like­ly dri­ven by the same forces col­laps­ing stocks around the globe. As the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic has slowed eco­nom­ic ac­tiv­i­ty around the world and dri­ven the stock mar­ket down with the speed of a bear phys­i­cal­ly tack­ling an un­sus­pect­ing bull, in­vestors have turned to phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal stocks, par­tic­u­lar­ly for those com­pa­nies who have joined in on the hunt for a coro­n­avirus treat­ment or vac­cine. In­no­Care, fo­cused on can­cer and au­toim­mune dis­or­ders, is not one of those com­pa­nies, but a lo­cal VC sug­gest­ed they still like­ly ben­e­fit­ed from the fren­zy.

“I would be cau­tious on this stock since the re­sponse could be dri­ven by short term spec­u­la­tion, and half the shares are in the hands of the cor­ner­stone in­vestors,” VC As­set Man­age­ment man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Louis Tse Ming-kwong told the Post.

Jas­mine Cui

In­no­Care has 9 pro­grams aim­ing to the best or first-in-class, but the lead pro­gram — and the re­cip­i­ent of half of the IPO’s pro­ceeds — is to ore­labru­ti­nib, a BTK in­hibitor now be­ing test­ed pre­clin­i­cal­ly or in ear­ly-stage hu­man tri­als against a long list of can­cers.

By the Post’s count, In­no­Care is the 11th com­pa­ny to list un­der Hong Kong’s biotech ex­change since it de­buted 2 years ago. Many of the oth­ers came with sim­i­lar pitch­es around au­toim­mune and can­cer. Nev­er­the­less, In­no­Care stands out for its staff, with Mer­ck vet Jas­mine Cui as CEO and pres­ti­gious aca­d­e­m­ic Yigong Shi as pres­i­dent of the sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board.

In a Phase II tri­al last year, ore­labru­ti­nib led to a re­sponse rate of 89% and a 12-month pro­gres­sion free sur­vival rate of 64% in 106 re­duced/re­frac­to­ry man­tle cell pa­tients.

Has the mo­ment fi­nal­ly ar­rived for val­ue-based health­care?

RBC Capital Markets’ Healthcare Technology Analyst, Sean Dodge, spotlights a new breed of tech-enabled providers who are rapidly transforming the way clinicians deliver healthcare, and explores the key question: can this accelerating revolution overturn the US healthcare system?

Key points

Tech-enabled healthcare providers are poised to help the US transition to value, not volume, as the basis for reward.
The move to value-based care has policy momentum, but is risky and complex for clinicians.
Outsourced tech specialists are emerging to provide the required expertise, while healthcare and tech are also converging through M&A.
Value-based care remains in its early stages, but the transition is accelerating and represents a huge addressable market.

Lat­est on ul­tra-rare dis­ease ap­proval; Pos­i­tive, if mixed, signs for Bio­gen's ALS drug; Clay Sie­gall finds a new job; and more

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FDA spells out how can­cer drug de­vel­op­ers can use one tri­al for both ac­cel­er­at­ed and full ap­provals

The FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence has been a bright spot within the agency in terms of speeding new treatments to patients. That flexibility was on full display this morning as FDA released new draft guidance spelling out exactly how oncology drug developers can fulfill both the accelerated and full approval’s requirements with just a single randomized controlled trial.

While Congress recently passed legislation that will allow FDA to require confirmatory trials to be recruiting and ongoing prior to granting an accelerated approval, the agency is now making clear that the initial trial used to win the AA, if designed appropriately, can also serve as the trial for converting the accelerated approval into a full approval.

Clay Siegall, Morphimmune CEO

Up­dat­ed: Ex-Seagen chief Clay Sie­gall emerges as CEO of pri­vate biotech

Clay Siegall will be back in the CEO seat, taking the helm of a private startup working on targeted cancer therapies.

It’s been almost a year since Siegall resigned from Seagen, the biotech he co-founded and led for more than 20 years, in the wake of domestic violence allegations by his then-wife. His eventual successor, David Epstein, sold the company to Pfizer in a $43 billion deal unveiled last week.

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FDA ad­vi­sors unan­i­mous­ly rec­om­mend ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval for Bio­gen's ALS drug

A panel of outside advisors to the FDA unanimously recommended that the agency grant accelerated approval to Biogen’s ALS drug tofersen despite the drug failing the primary goal of its Phase III study, an endorsement that could pave a path forward for the treatment.

By a 9-0 vote, members of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee said there was sufficient evidence that tofersen’s effect on a certain protein associated with ALS is reasonably likely to predict a benefit for patients. But panelists stopped short of advocating for a full approval, voting 3-5 against (with one abstention) and largely citing the failed pivotal study.

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No­vo Nordisk oral semaglu­tide tri­al shows re­duc­tion in blood sug­ar, plus weight loss

Novo Nordisk is testing higher levels of its oral version of its GLP-1, semaglutide, and its type 2 diabetes trial results released today show reductions in blood sugar as well as weight loss.

In the Phase IIIb trial, Novo compared its oral semaglutide in 25 mg and 50 mg doses with the 14 mg version that’s currently the maximum approved dose. The trial looked at how the doses compared when added to a stable dose of one to three oral antidiabetic medicines in people with type 2 diabetes who were in need of an intensified treatment.

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Ly­me vac­cine test com­ple­tion is pushed back by a year as Pfiz­er, Val­ne­va say they'll ad­just tri­al

Valneva and Pfizer have adjusted the end date for the Phase III study of their investigational Lyme disease vaccine, pushing it back by a year after issues at a contract researcher led to thousands of US patients being dropped from the test.

In a March 20 update to, Valneva and Pfizer moved the primary completion date on the trial, called VALOR, from the end of 2024 to the end of 2025.

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Stuart Peltz, former PTC Therapeutics CEO

Stu­art Peltz re­signs as PTC Ther­a­peu­tics CEO af­ter 25 years

Stuart Peltz, the longtime CEO of PTC Therapeutics who’s led the rare disease drug developer since its founding 25 years ago, is stepping down.

Succeeding him in the top job is Matthew Klein, who joined PTC in 2019 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2022. In a call with analysts, he said the CEO transition has been planned for “quite some time” — in fact, as part of it, he gave the company’s presentation at the JP Morgan healthcare conference earlier this year.

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Bet­ter Ther­a­peu­tics cuts 35% of staff while await­ing dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic ap­proval

Digital therapeutics company Better Therapeutics announced on Thursday that it’s cutting 35% of its staff as it awaits FDA clearance for its first product.

The company, which launched eight years ago, is one of a growing group of companies seeking a digital alternative to traditional medicine. The space saw a record $7.5 billion in investments in 2021, according to Chris Dokomajilar at DealForma, with uses spanning ADHD, PTSD and other indications. However, private insurers have been slow to hop on board.