Despite a “turbulent macro backdrop,” the strong momentum in Hong Kong’s IPO market has continued in the third quarter of 2021, driven to a large extent by new biotech listings.
“Biotechnology is today the fastest-growing IPO market segment,” says Nicolas Aguzin, CEO of HKEX, one of the world’s major exchange groups, which, in just a few years, has managed to become the second largest biotech fundraising hub in the world.
In the last four fiscal quarters, HKEX welcomed 23 healthcare company listings, including 12 biotech companies, raising a total of USD 7.4 billion – a 37 percent increase over the previous year – according to their latest Q3 report. “IPO activity in the healthcare sector in particular remained robust,” states the report.
“The industry is currently going through a global period of rapid change and expansion. Reforms within the global healthcare industry such as the accelerated review and approval of drugs, and the expansion of the reimbursement scheme have provided a real catalyst for transformation and innovation across this sector in Mainland China,” reads promotional material from HKEX.
As part of their efforts to promote biotech investment, HKEX recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), allowing HKEX to gain access to HKSTP’s “deep pool” of biotech industry experts to assist in the review of biotech listing applications. It was the second big development of the year for HKTSP after launching a program with AstraZeneca to support startups working on cancer treatments.
In addition, the group hosted its fourth HKEX Biotech Summit in September, attracting over 130,000 participants and online viewers across the world.
The exchange’s momentum could be attributed to listing reforms introduced in 2018 that allowed pre-revenue biotech companies to raise funding through a path called Chapter 18A, which, among other things, requires biotech applicants to have at least two years of operations in the same line of business and an initial market capitalization of about USD 193 million.
According to Aguzin, the major selling points for HKEX when looking to attract biotech IPOs is the proximity to the “huge and vibrant” Chinese market and the “well-known” regulatory environment. “Volume brings volume… it creates an environment where more people want to come and raise money in Hong Kong.”
See below for the biotech companies that have made IPO filings since PharmaBoardroom’s last update on July 29th 2021
- Founded in 2004, headquartered in Beijing, China
- CEO: Jun Jian
- Focus Area: Biomedical soft tissue repair materials
IMEIK Technology was established in 2004 and has been developed based on the research, development and transformation of biomedical soft tissue repair materials. IMEIK is a leading innovative company of biomedical soft tissue materials in China which has successfully realized the industrialization of sodium hyaluronate fillers and facial implant threads.
In 2009, IMEIK became the first enterprise in China to obtain the Class III medical device certificate of sodium hyaluronate for injection approved by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA)
- Founded in 2016, headquartered in Beijing, China
- Executive Director: Dr. Yu Rong
- Focus Area: Diagnostics
Mega Genomics provides genetic testing services for public health management, medical clinics and scientific research services.
- Founded in 2014, headquartered in Nanjing, China
- Founder: Frank Wu
- Focus Area: Oncology and Autoimmune
TransThera Sciences engages in the research and development of clinical biopharmaceutics. It focuses on the discovery and development of small molecule innovative therapies for tumors, inflammations, and cardiovascular diseases.
- Founded in 2009, headquartered in Nanjing, China
- Chairman and CEO: Yuelei Shen, Ph.D.
- Focus Area: Oncology
Powered by cutting-edge gene editing technologies and a state-of-the-art animal facility, Biocytogen developed a seamlessly integrated platform for efficient antibody drug discovery and validation, including animal model generation, therapeutic antibody discovery (via RenMab™ Mouse), and in vivo/in vitro preclinical validation studies