Boyu-backed Chinese cancer drug developer Antengene raises $361m in Hong Kong IPO

Source: Laurynas Mereckas/Unsplash

Antengene, a China- and US-based cancer drug developer backed by Boyu Capital, has raised about HK$2.8 billion ($361 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Main Board of the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.

The company offered almost 154.2 million shares at a price of HK$18.08 ($2.33) apiece — the higher end of its proposed range between HK$15.80 ($2.04) and HK$18.08. The stock opened at HK$19.6 per share on Friday, giving the firm a market cap of about HK$13.1 billion ($1.7 billion).

Its international offering tranche of shares was oversubscribed 13.5 times, while the Hong Kong offering tranche was oversubscribed 264.8 times.

The IPO offering was backed by 10 cornerstone investors, which collectively subscribed for 76.9 million shares at $179 million. The two biggest cornerstone investors were US financial services firm Fidelity Investments and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, which pledged $70 million and $20 million, respectively.

China-focused investment firm Boyu Capital remains Antengene’s largest institutional shareholder after the IPO, with a 38.08 per cent stake.

Founded in 2006, Antengene operates as a clinical-stage Asia-Pacific biopharmaceutical company that focuses on innovative oncology medicines. It has built a pipeline of 12 drug assets specialised in oncology, including two late-stage clinical assets, four early-stage clinical assets, and six pre-clinical stage assets.

The firm also has nine ongoing clinical trials and five clinical trials planned for initiation. It has received nine Investigational New Drug (IND) approvals in multiple jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific regions.

Antengene’s founder Jay Mei is a former executive director of Celgene’s clinical development, where he participated in the research work on some of the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical firm’s best-selling oncology drugs, such as Revlimid and Pomalyst.

Celgene, now part of New York-based pharmaceutical firm Bristol Myers Squibb, is also an early investor of Antengene.

Before the listing, Antengene completed three funding rounds, in which it raised a combined $238 million. In its latest funding round in July 2020, the firm closed $97 million in a Series C round led by Fidelity at a valuation of $726 million.

The IPO represents the 11th public listing in the portfolio of Qiming Venture Partners, a Chinese venture capital firm with $5.6 billion in assets under management (AUM), said the investor in a statement. Qiming first led Antengene’s Series A round in August 2017 and continued to invest in its subsequent financing rounds.

Since it currently has no product approved for commercial sale, Antengene has by far generated zero revenue. Its operating losses stood at 146 million yuan, 323.8 million yuan, 106.8 million yuan, and 537.7 million yuan ($81.8 million) for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019, and the six months ended June 30, 2019 and 2020, respectively, according to its prospectus.

The company noted in the prospectus that it could continue to incur significant expenses for “at least the next several years,” as it furthers pre-clinical and clinical R&D efforts, seeks regulatory approval for drug candidates, launches commercialisation of pipeline products, and incur costs associated with operating as a public company, among others.

Antengene’s shares are listed under the ticker “6996.” Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are joint sponsors of the deal.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.