Hillhouse-backed Genor Biopharma files for $320m HK IPO

Laboratory equipment. Photo: Pixabay

Hillhouse-backed Chinese biopharmaceutical firm JHBP (CY) Holdings Limited, also known as Genor Biopharma, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) to raise about HK$2.48 billion ($320 million).

According to its prospectus filed with the stock exchange on June 26, Shanghai-based Genor plans to use the majority of the proceeds to fund ongoing and planned clinical trials, preparation for registration filings, and potential commercialization of its drug candidates.

The prospectus is highly redacted. It is still unclear when the listing will happen, but the company is given up to three months to float shares on the board before the IPO application lapses, according to the city’s exchange rules.

Founded in December 2007, Genor focuses on the development and commercialization of oncology and autoimmune drugs for patients in China and worldwide. With research centres in Shanghai and San Francisco, the company has established a pipeline of 15 targeted drug candidates with commercialization potential in China that covers both proven and novel biological pathways.

The firm also has 18 clinical trials ongoing in Asia, with three new drug applications (NDAs) expected to be filed with the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) and multiple investigational new drug applications (INDs) to be filed with the NMPA and the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the next 12 to 18 months, according to its prospectus.

Despite the strong pipeline of drug candidates, the company now has no product approved for commercial sale and is expected to generate “significant expenses and operating losses for at least the next several years” for research and development efforts, clinical development, and seeking regulatory approval, among others.

Its total comprehensive losses were 288.1 million yuan ($41 million) and 523.0 million yuan ($74 million) in 2018 and 2019, respectively, shows the prospectus.

Before the IPO application, Genor announced earlier this month the completion of a Series B round of financing at $160 million. The round was led by Asia-focused private equity major Hillhouse Capital Group, which is currently the firm’s largest shareholder holding a combined 35.59 per cent shares through two affiliates, HHJH and HM Healthcare.

Other backers in the Series B round include Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, Shanghai-based private equity firm Haitong Capital, Cavenham PE, and CR-CP Life Science Fund, a 50-50 joint venture between China Resources Group and Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group.

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

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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.