HK-based Chi-Med $100M IPO set for March 14 as interest in China biopharma booms

Chi-Med CEO Christian Hogg

Hong Kong-based Hutchison China MediTech, or Chi-Med, has detailed its plans to raise $100 million on the Nasdaq in an IPO this month, placing its overall value at nearly $2 billion and joining a surge of investor interest in China-focused biopharma plays regionally and abroad.

A price of $16.33 a share has been set for 6.1 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) for a Nasdaq listing on an amended Form F-1 filing with the U.S. SEC.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities will serve as joint global coordinators and book runners for the offer expected to be priced during the week starting March 14 and trade under the symbol HCM, according to the filing.

The offer follows an IPO for Beijing-based BeiGene ($BGNE) earlier this year that raised $158.4 million in a volatile global market setting. The ADS offer came in at the top of the range at $24 each, and closed on Friday, March 4, at $32.37 a share.

The Chi-Med offer is linked to its current listing on the AIM market in London.

"The final price per ADS placed in the potential offering will be determined following the book-building process," Chi-Med said in a press release, adding it "intends to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase additional ADSs in connection with the potential offering at the final offering price."

Last week, Chi-Med, said it has moved into an open-label Phase II clinical trial in thyroid cancer with candidate HMPL-012, sulfatinib, in China, building on other oncology efforts that include a U.S. Phase I clinical trial to treat neuroendocrine tumors.

Part of Li Ka-shing-controlled CK Hutchison Holdings, the company first announced plans to list on the Nasdaq last October.

The company is focused on oncology and immunological diseases with 7 clinical-stage drug candidates in its pipeline, 5 of which already achieved proof-of-concept that could see them become "eligible for accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It owns 4 of the candidates and has partnerships on the others with AstraZeneca ($AZN), Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Nestle Health Science.

The rush of money to China pharma also sees Nanjing-based Simcere Pharmaceutical Group and Beijing-based China Resources Pharmaceutical Group, each looking to raise as much as $1 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

- here's the company release
- and the amended Form F-1 to the U.S. SEC

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