RemeGen readies $514M IPO as HKEX adds jewel to the crown
Nasdaq may boast of a biotech boom with the sheer number of companies in its IPO queue. But when it comes to chart-topping hauls, HKEX apparently takes the crown.
The latest record setter is RemeGen, a Yantai, Shandong-based biotech that — months after drawing in a stellar slate of crossover investors for a $100 million-plus round — is set to raise up to $514 million from its public debut in Hong Kong.
In terms of money raised, RemeGen will be the largest IPO in the world this year for a biopharma company (drug developer). Here's the top seven:
1. RemeGen $515M
2. Hepalink $491M
3. Simcere $461M
4. Everest Med $451M
5. Legend Bio $424M
6. Relay Tx $400M
7. Genor Pharma $371M
— Brad Loncar (@bradloncar) October 28, 2020
Public investors would be buying into a pipeline of antibodies, fusion proteins and antibody-drug conjugates anchored by RC18, or telitacicept. With an NDA already filed for systemic lupus erythematosus, that lead program binds to both BLyS (B lymphocyte stimulator) and APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand).
If approved, it could be the first new lupus drug in decades. RemeGen has six other mid- or late-stage programs underway for the drug in other autoimmune disease indications.
Close behind it is RC48, or disitamab vedotin, an ADC targeting the well known HER2. Stepping on the terrain of giants, RemeGen is taking a slightly different path, however, by prioritizing gastric cancer, urothelial cancer and HER2-low expressing breast cancer.
Seattle Genetics’ Tukysa (now partnered with Merck), AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s Enhertu and others all tend to focus on breast cancer first before pivoting to other indications.
RemeGen got going in 2008 when Jianmin Fang, a Canada-educated scientist who trained at Harvard Medical School, convinced his friends at a traditional Chinese medicine company to launch a biologics player with him, the founder told Endpoints News. He’s served as the CEO and CSO since then.
Lilly Asia Ventures and Lake Bleu Capital bought in at the last raise, alongside Hudson Bay Capital, Vivo Capital, Janchor Partners and OrbiMed.