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Week in Review: BeiGene Cleared to Stage $3 Billion IPO on Shanghai STAR Exchange

publication date: Nov 20, 2021
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Deals and Financings

Beijing's BeiGene (NSDQ: BGNE; HK: 06160) was approved to stage a $3 billion IPO on Shanghai’s STAR Exchange, the company's third listing (see story). Previously, the company completed an $182 million IPO on NASDAQ in 2016 and a $900 million Hong Kong IPO in 2018. It will be the first biopharma to list on the three exchanges. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) signed off on the IPO this week, the last requirement for the process. Founded in 2010, BeiGene focuses on developing molecularly targeted and immuno-oncology drug candidates.  

CBC Group announced its CBC China Life Science Infrastructure Venture (CLSIV) fund held a first close of $500 million with a hard cap of $1.5 billion in total equity (see story). The fund was formed to provide best-in-class facilities for life science research, manufacturing and support services in China. CBC Group, which claims to be Asia's largest healthcare-dedicated investment firm, formed a partnership with the Netherlands' APG Asset Management to sponsor the CBC Healthcare Infrastructure Platform (CBC HIP), which includes the China-focused life science infrastructure fund as one of its offerings.  

Shanghai AoHua Endoscope (SHA: 688212) completed a $117 million IPO on the Shanghai Star Exchange and rose 71% higher in its first trading session, bringing its market capitalization to over $800 million (see story). Formed in 1994, AoHua develops and sells electronic endoscopic equipment and surgical consumables, making products for  gastroenterology, respiratory medicine, otolaryngology, gynecology, and emergency medicine uses. The company's stated goal is to become the world's leading provider of endoscope technology.  

Chengdu Clover Biopharma (HK: 2197) received $38.9 million from CEPI to complete the development of its COVID-19 vaccine through market approval (see story). With the latest funds, CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, has earmarked almost $400 million to develop SCB-2019 (CpG 1018/Alum), one of CEPI’s largest investments in any COVID-19 vaccine company so far. Once the vaccine is approved, Clover will supply up to 414 million doses to the COVAX Facility for global distribution.  

Newsoara Biopharma of Shanghai expanded its partnership with Zenith Epigenetics for a BET inhibitor to include Asia, India and ten Eurasian countries (see story). In 2019, Newsoara acquired greater China rights to ZEN-3694 in a deal worth up to $78 million. In exchange for the expanded rights, Newsoara will pay $3.5 million upfront plus buy 1.5 million Zenith units for $1 each. Each unit consists of one share and a warrant to purchase one half of a share. Each full share will cost $1. Zenith is located in CalgaryAlberta.  

Livzon Mabpharm of Zhuhai, Guangdong Provence, out-licensed its clinical stage PD-1 to Bright Peak Therapeutics of San Diego to develop PD-1 targeted immunocytokines (see story). The PD-1 ICs will contain optimized cytokine payloads developed by Bright Peak and conjugated to the PD-1 to treat a variety of cancers. Bright Peak will own global rights to the PD-1 ICs, while Livzon will have first negotiation rights in ChinaBright Peak will be responsible for all development activities. Livzon will receive an upfront payment plus milestones and royalties.  

Company News 

EdiGene, a China gene editing company, announced a research collaboration with the University of Wisconsin–Madison to identify candidates for genetic disease therapies (see story). EdiGene’s US R&D Center will work with the David Gamm Laboratory at UWM to evaluate the pharmacological properties of RNA base editing candidates derived from EdiGene's LEAPER™ RNA platform. The program will focus on in vivo therapies for ophthalmology indications. In September, EdiGene started a China Phase I trial of its gene-editing hematopoietic stem cell therapy to treat transfusion dependent β-thalassemia, a rare genetic disease.  

Trials and Approvals 

China regulators may approve Beijing Brii Bio's (HK: 2137) COVID-19 dual antibody therapy under conditional use rules next month, according to a publication from the Ministry of Science and Technology (see story). In October, Brii announced that the BRII-196/BRII-198 neutralizing mAb reduced hospitalizations and death by 78% in high-risk patients. The company also said the therapy was just as effective in days 6-10 after symptom onset as days 1-5, a surprising result.  

Beijing HebaBiz Biotech was approved to start a China Phase III clinical study of Clevudine (L-FMAU), in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) (see story). L-FMAU is a synthetic β-L nucleoside analogue that HebaBiz in-licensed from Yale University. The candidate binds to reverse transcriptase to inhibit HBV replication. HebaBiz says L-FMAU has a dual mechanism that provides antiviral activity while it causes a immune reaction, which it believes will sustain the suppression of the virus, giving L-FMAU the potential to be a functional cure.  

Taicang Connect Bio (NSDQ: CNTB) reported that its interleukin-4 receptor alpha (IL-4Rα) candidate met its primary endpoint in a global Phase II trial for atopic dermatitis (see story). The trial tested CBP-201 in three dosing arms, all of which showed statistically significant improvements of 50% to 75% eczema reduction compared to currently available therapies. Although the news was positive, Connect's stock price dropped 50% to $5.75. The company's stock price has now dropped 66% from the level of its March IPO, which was priced at $17 per share.  

Disclosure: none. 


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