Chinese biopharma firm Everest Medicines raises $451m in HK IPO

Fu Wei (right), CEO of CBC Group and Chairman of Everest Medicines and Kerry Blanchard (left), CEO of Everest Medicines celebrate the listing of Everest Medicines on the HKEX on October 9, 2020. Source: CBC Group

Everest Medicines, a Chinese clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm created by CBC Group, has raised almost HK$3.50 billion ($451 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong on Friday.

The China-based biotech company offered a total of 63.5 million ordinary shares at a price of HK$55 ($7.1) apiece, the upper end of the firm’s proposed range between HK$50 ($6.5) and HK$55.

Everest, which had filed for the IPO this July, develops a portfolio of eight clinical-stage drug candidates across oncology, immunology, cardio-renal disease, and infectious disease to address unmet medical needs, initially in Greater China and emerging Asia Pacific markets.

As the firm has yet to generate any revenue, its net operating losses stood at 127.2 million yuan ($19 million) and 176.1 million yuan ($26 million) in 2018 and 2019. It is expected to create revenue from product sales after it obtains regulatory approval and commercialise one of its current or future drug candidates.

Everest was founded in July 2017 by CBC Group, a healthcare-focused private equity firm that invests across pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical technology, and healthcare services.

“This [Everest’s IPO] is not just a milestone for Everest, but also one for CBC,” said Fu Wei, CEO of CBC Group and chairman of Everest Medicines. “… and we look forward to continuing to support them as they look to transform China’s burgeoning biotech industry.”

Asia-focused CBC Group had also co-founded I-Mab Biopharma, a Chinese late-stage biotech firm that went public in a $104-million Nasdaq IPO this January, and US-based small molecule medicines developer NiKang Therapeutics. It had backed Chinese hematology hospital group Lu Daopei Medial Group and Anrei Group, a provider of medical devices for minimal invasive surgeries in China.

Everest intends to use the majority of the net proceeds of about HK$3.13 billion ($404 million) to fund onging and planned clinical trials, preparation for registration filings, and commercialization of four anchor products.

The firm will also use part of the capital to support business development activities and the expansion of its drug pipeline, among others

Before the listing, Everest had closed $310 million in a Series C round across two preferred equity financing tranches in June 2020, including a $260-million Series C2 round and a $50-million Series C1 round.

The Series C2 round was led by Hong Kong-based Janchor Partners and co-led by Boston-based multi-stage investment manager RA Capital Management, and Asia-focused PE major Hillhouse Capital, while the Series C1 round comprised of a $50-million investment from Chinese state-owned investor Jiashan SDIC.

Goldman Sachs (Asia), Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific), Citigroup Global Markets Asia, China International Capital Corp (CICC), Nomura International (Hong Kong) and others served as the underwriters of the deal. Everest’s shares are listed under the symbol “1952.”

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.