GIC-backed Chinese biopharma firm CStone raises $285m in HK IPO

REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

CStone Pharmaceuticals, a Chinese biopharma firm backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, has raised HK$2.2 billion ($285 million) in its initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong after selling 186.4 million shares at HK$12 apiece.

The capital raised was the same as the hard cap of the company’s target when it announced listing in Hong Kong early this month. The offering – which involved selling 18.6 million shares to Hong Kong investors and 167.8 million shares to the international community – values CStone at HK$11.8 billion ($1.5 billion).

Cornerstone investors include existing investor GIC, Tetrad Ventures, Boyu Capital Opportunities Master Fund, Indus Asia Pacific Master Fund, Indus China Master Fund, Indus Select Master Fund, Cambridge University Endowment Fund, Vitruvius Sicav – Asian Equity, and Ishana Capital. These investors subscribed to a total of 62.12 million shares, or 6.31 per cent of the company’s issued share capital.

In May 2018, CStone secured a $260-million financing led by GIC, in what was said to be the largest Series B funding in China’s biopharmaceutical industry.

In its filing with the Hong Kong Exchange, CStone said it will use the IPO capital to continue developing its core product candidate, other clinical and IND stage candidates, and to fund the R&D of five of the remaining drug candidates in the pipeline as well as new drug candidates.

A clinical-stage biopharma company focused on developing and commercializing immuno-oncology and molecularly targeted drugs, CStone has built an oncology-focused pipeline with 14 assets, including three immune-oncology backbone drug candidates at the clinical stage.

About 30 per cent of the IPO proceeds will be used to finance the development of CS1001, one of three immuno-oncology programs in its 14 program oncology pipeline.

The firm earlier sealed two agreements with WuXi Biologics regarding drug discovery and pre-clinical development services for 13 biologic drug candidates, and distribution of its core product CS1001 in the ex-China territory.

CStone is the sixth company to list on the Hong Kong exchange after it relaxed rules in March 2018 allowing pre-revenue biotech companies to list.

Also Read:

Singapore’s GIC leads $260m Series B round in Chinese biopharma firm CStone

Chinese biopharma firm CStone gets $150m Series A from Oriza, Boyu, WuXi

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.