JHL Biotech tests the waters on Taiwan's Emerging Stock Board

Taiwan's JHL Biotech said its listing of an unspecified number of shares on the Taiwan Emerging Stock Board this week has clocked in a value of NTD$1.89 billion ($57.6 million) as it ramps up services in the manufacture and development of biologics in Asia ahead of a potential main board listing.

The emerging board on the Taipei Exchange is aimed at getting exposure through price discovery for companies that may eventually want to list on the main board. Taiwan's main board has been volatile along with developments in Shanghai over the past few months, prompting restrictions on short-selling that have now been lifted.

The company said in a press release that the over-the-counter emerging board offering was made possible as some existing shareholders sold common stock with domestic brokerage Yuanta Securities as the lead underwriter.

JHL Biotech's manufacturing operations are in focus with initial backing by venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, Biomark Capital and China Development Industrial Bank, according to the press release.

In May, JHL Biotech said it had successfully completed the GMP manufacture and lot release of its first 500-liter scale batch from its Taiwan facility for a privately held Chinese biotech company of its unspecified oncology monoclonal antibody product for use in Phase I clinical trials in Australia.

And in the same month, the company announced it had closed on a Series C fundraising of $45.6 million under existing investor Milestone Capital and with new investors Sungent BioVenture and Liwick Investment Management.

JHL Biotech, which has offices in China and Taiwan, said in a press release at the time that since it started in 2012, it has raised over $135 million in new equity issuances.

- here's the release