In­novent to seek $400M-plus on Hong Kong IPO, re­ports say; will it re­vive biotech's for­tunes on HKEX?

With a clear goal to lead the first biosim­i­lar wave in Chi­na while giv­ing a go at new drug in­no­va­tion, In­novent Bi­o­log­ics has been rais­ing im­pres­sive sums of cash in the past cou­ple of years, set­ting some do­mes­tic records along the way. And now, it’s look­ing poised to ride that mo­men­tum all the way to the top of Hong Kong’s stock ex­change.

Michael Yu

Re­ports are emerg­ing that the Shang­hai-based drug­mak­er, which is sched­uled to price its IPO on Oc­to­ber 23, aims to raise be­tween $400 mil­lion to $500 mil­lion. Reuters’ sources put the fig­ure at $422 mil­lion — pos­si­bly mak­ing it the biggest pub­lic de­but of any biotech since they have been al­lowed on­to Hong Kong’s mar­ket this April.

As­cle­tis pre­vi­ous­ly stood on top of that list — al­beit still a short one — at $400 mil­lion, and Hua Med­i­cine fol­lowed up with a $110.5 mil­lion raise. No­tably, Nas­daq-list­ed BeiGene bagged $903 mil­lion but it was through a sec­ondary list­ing.

Strong sup­port from cor­ner­stone in­vestors has boost­ed In­novent’s val­u­a­tion to around $2 bil­lion.

The group, com­pris­ing Sin­ga­pore sov­er­eign wealth fund Temasek, Se­quoia Cap­i­tal Chi­na, Shang­hai-based Green­woods In­vest­ment, Hong Kong-based as­set man­age­ment com­pa­ny Val­ue Part­ners and Amer­i­can fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pa­ny Cap­i­tal Group, are ac­count­ing for 50% to 60% of the IPO, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese source Xue­qiu Fi­nance.

Reuters added that In­novent has set a price range of $1.59 to $1.79 (HK$12.5-HK$14).

In its fil­ings, In­novent high­light­ed sin­til­imab — an Eli-Lil­ly part­nered PD-1 in­hibitor cur­rent­ly un­der pri­or­i­ty re­view in Chi­na — as the star of the pipeline. The new in­fu­sion of cash will con­tin­ue to fund the tri­als, reg­is­tra­tion and com­mer­cial­iza­tion leg­work for that and oth­er as­sets in the pipeline, in­clud­ing three block­buster copy­cats — biosim­i­lars of Avastin, Rit­ux­an and Hu­mi­ra.

As one of the ear­li­er biotech uni­corns in Chi­na, found­ed and helmed by Michael Yu, In­novent and its IPO plans have been fol­lowed close­ly. Giv­en the rocky ter­rain its pre­de­ces­sors have found them­selves in — As­cle­tis is now trad­ing at 43% of its de­but price — In­novent’s stock will sure­ly come un­der the spot­light once it goes live at the end of this month.

Brian Kaspar. AveXis via Twitter

AveX­is sci­en­tif­ic founder fires back at No­var­tis CEO Vas Narasimhan, 'cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly de­nies any wrong­do­ing'

Brian Kaspar’s head was among the first to roll at Novartis after company execs became aware of the fact that manipulated data had been included in its application for Zolgensma, now the world’s most expensive therapy.

But in his first public response, the scientific founder at AveXis — acquired by Novartis for $8.7 billion — is firing back. And he says that not only was he not involved in any wrongdoing, he’s ready to defend his name as needed.

I reached out to Brian Kaspar after Novartis put out word that he and his brother Allen had been axed in mid-May, two months after the company became aware of the allegations related to manipulated data. His response came back through his attorneys.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 57,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

We­bi­nar: Re­al World End­points — the brave new world com­ing in build­ing fran­chise ther­a­pies

Several biopharma companies have been working on expanding drug labels through the use of real world endpoints, combing through the data to find evidence of a drug’s efficacy for particular indications. But we’ve just begun. Real World Evidence is becoming an important part of every clinical development plan, in the soup-through-nuts approach used in building franchises.

I’ve recruited a panel of 3 top experts in the field — the first in a series of premium webinars — to look at the practical realities governing what can be done today, and where this is headed over the next few years, at the prodding of the FDA.


ZHEN SU — Merck Serono’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Oncology


ELLIOTT LEVY — Amgen’s Senior Vice President of Global Development


CHRIS BOSHOFF — Pfizer Oncology’s Chief Development Officer

A premium subscription to Endpoints News is required to attend this webinar. Please upgrade to either an Insider or Enterprise plan for access. Already have Endpoints Premium? Please sign-in below. You can contact our Subscriptions team at help@endpointsnews.com with any issues.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

As­traZeneca’s Imfinzi/treme com­bo strikes out — again — in lung can­cer. Is it time for last rites?

AstraZeneca bet big on the future of their PD-L1 Imfinzi combined with the experimental CTLA-4 drug tremelimumab. But once again it’s gone down to defeat in a major Phase III study — while adding damage to the theory involving targeting cancer with a high tumor mutational burden.

Early Wednesday the pharma giant announced that their NEPTUNE study had failed, with the combination unable to beat standard chemo at overall survival in high TMB cases of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. We won’t get hard data until later in the year, but the drumbeat of failures will call into question what — if any — future this combination can have left.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 57,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

UP­DAT­ED: Pay­back? An­a­lysts say Sarep­ta was blind­sided by an FDA re­jec­tion dri­ven by reg­u­la­to­ry re­venge

In one of the least anticipated moves of the year, the FDA has rejected Sarepta’s application for an accelerated approval of its Duchenne MD drug golodirsen after fretting over safety issues.

In a statement that arrived after the bell on Monday, Sarepta explained the CRL, saying:

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 57,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Levi Garraway. Broad Institute via Youtube

Roche raids Eli Lil­ly for its next chief med­ical of­fi­cer as San­dra Horn­ing plans to step down

We found out Monday morning where Levi Garraway was headed after he left Eli Lilly as head of oncology R&D a few days ago. Roche named Garraway as their new chief medical officer, replacing Sandra Horning, who they say is retiring from the company.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 57,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Af­ter a posse of Wall Street an­a­lysts pre­dict a like­ly new win for Sarep­ta, we're down to the wire on a crit­i­cal FDA de­ci­sion

As Bloomberg notes, most of the Wall Street analysts that cover Sarepta $SRPT are an upbeat bunch, ready to cheer on the team when it comes to their Duchenne MD drugs, or offer explanations when an odd setback occurs — as happened recently with a safety signal that was ‘erroneously’ reported last week.

Ritu Baral Cowen
Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 57,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

FDA de­ci­sion on Ver­tex's CF triple will come just ahead of planned CEO shake­up

Vertex has clinched a priority review for the all-important cystic fibrosis triple that will blaze the trail for treating a large group of patients unhelped by its current drugs.

FDA regulators have set a PDUFA date of March 19, 2020, just a year after the Boston biotech posted positive Phase III results showing that people with two F508del mutations experienced statistically significant improvements in lung function after a 4-week regimen of VX-445, tezacaftor and ivacaftor. After reviewing 24-week data among patients with one F508del mutation and one minimal function mutation — and thoroughly comparing the VX-445 triple with another combo featuring VX-659 on scores like safety, drug-drug interactions, and photosensitivity — Vertex ultimately went with VX-445.

An MIT spin­out kills one of its ‘liv­ing ther­a­peu­tics’ af­ter flunk­ing an ear­ly-stage study — shares rout­ed

Just a few weeks after bagging $80 million in a deal to collaborate with Gingko Bioworks on its special blend of engineered bacteria used for “living therapeutics,” little Synlogic in Boston $SYBX is tossing one of its two clinical programs after watching an early-stage study go down in defeat.

Their Phase Ib/IIa study for SYNB1020 to counter the accumulation of ammonia in the body, a condition called hyperammonemia or urea cycle disorder, floundered at the interim readout, forcing the biotech to kill it and reserve its cash for pipeline therapies with greater potential.

Elan­co to buy Bay­er's an­i­mal health busi­ness for $7.6B, as deal­mak­ing gath­ers steam in the sec­tor

Last week, Elanco explicitly dodged answering questions about its rumored interest in Bayer’s animal health business in its post-earnings call. On Tuesday, the Eli Lilly spinoff disclosed it was purchasing the German drug maker’s veterinary unit in a cash-and-stock deal worth $7.6 billion. 

Elanco $ELAN has been busy on the deal-making front. In April, it laid out plans to swallow its partner, Kansas-based pet therapeutics company Aratana $PETX. A July report by Reuters suggested a potential Bayer deal was being explored, and Bloomberg last week said the deal was imminent, citing sources.