Chinese oncology drug developer Tot Biopharm raises $75.2m in HK IPO

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Tot Biopharm, a Chinese clinical-stage biopharma firm specialized in innovative oncology drugs and therapies, has raised about $75.2 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.

The biopharma company offered 90 million shares at a price of HK$6.55 apiece, the lower end of the proposed price range between HK$7.55 and HK$6.55.

Taipei Exchange-listed oral pharmaceutical business Centerlab, Vivo Capital, which invests in the healthcare industry in China and the United States, and Nien Hsing BVI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Taiwan-based Nien Hsing Textile, served as cornerstone investors subscribing to $20 million worth shares in the IPO.

The listing came about six months after the Suzhou-based Tot Biopharm filed a prospectus with the stock exchange in early May 2019.

The company applied to float shares in Hong Kong under rules that allow the listing of pre-profit biotech companies – a new regime that came into effect on April 30, 2018 as authorities of the global financial hub seek to capitalize on opportunities from the up-and-coming biotech firms, which make up a majority of pre-revenue companies seeking an IPO.

The listing reform led to the highest fundraising record on the Hong Kong stock exchange in eight years, reclaiming the city’s crown as the top 1 IPO market worldwide in 2018 with 125 companies raising $36.5 billion in the year, according to Refinitiv data.

Tot Biopharm, founded in 2009, recorded accumulated losses of 753.8 million yuan ($108 million) in 2018, up 55.3 per cent from 485.5 million yuan ($70 million) in 2017, according to its prospectus.

The losses further increased by 13.6 per cent to 856.1 million yuan ($123 million) as of April 30, 2019, primarily attributable to increases in research and development expenses in relation to the clinical trials and pre-clinical development of drug candidates.

Tot Biopharm’s portfolio includes monoclonal antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, oncolytic virus products and speciality oncology drugs such as liposome drugs, targeting various types of cancers.

Its pipeline consists of seven biological and five chemical drug candidates, 11 of which are in-house developed. At present, four biological drug candidates of Tot Biopharm are in the clinical stage.

TAB008, the core product of Tot Biopharm, is an anti-VEGF mAb and biosimilar drug candidate to bevacizumab, a medication used for the treatment of a number of cancers. The product will serve the Chinese bevacizumab market, which is projected to grow to 13.1 billion yuan ($1.88 billion) in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.7%, according to Frost & Sullivan.

TAB008 is undergoing Phase III clinical trials in China, and is expected to be launched between the end of 2020 and early 2021, subject to regulatory approval.

The company plans to use the net proceeds from the IPO to conduct clinical trials on drug candidates, and to expand sales and marketing staff in preparation for their approval and commercialization.

Tot Biopharm has so far raised a total of $108 million across two funding rounds. It raised $6 million in a Series A round led by Chengwei Capital in 2010 and another $102 million in a Series B round in 2018, co-led by 99Fund and China Universal.

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.