SK Biopharmaceuticals, fresh off an FDA nod, preps for $850M IPO in January: report

Recent biopharma IPOs in South Korea include Samsung Biologics in 2016 and Celltrion in 2017. (Pixabay)

Right on the heels of an FDA approval for seizure med Xcopri, South Korea’s SK Biopharmaceuticals is reportedly planning an initial public offering to raise about $850 million.

The company plans to list shares in January and has chosen Citigroup and NH Investment & Securities as advisers for the process, the Financial Times reports, citing people familiar with the planning. 

News of the IPO comes after last week’s FDA approval for Xcopri from SK Biopharmaceuticals’ U.S. subsidiary, SK Life Science, to treat partial-onset seizures in adults. SK plans to launch the med itself next year, executives told FiercePharma. First, the DEA will have to schedule the drug. 

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In anticipation of the rollout, SK has established an in-house commercial organization, including a marketing team, market access experts and a sales force. SK plans to launch with 100 to 125 sales reps, execs said. 

RELATED: SK Life Science plots 2020 launch for now-approved seizure drug Xcopri 

Over the span of more than a decade, SK Life Sciences independently discovered and developed the med. The company has licensed European rights to the drug to Arvelle Therapeutics, a spinoff from Axovant that secured $100 million in initial financing back in February. 

The drugmaker also has pipeline candidates in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, ADHD, schizophrenia and more.

Other recent biopharma IPOs in South Korea include Samsung Biologics' $1.9 billion raise in 2016 and Celltrion's $858 million offering in 2017, according to the FT. 

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