Ascletis Pharma becomes the first biotech to file an IPO in Hong Kong
Set to be worth up to $457mn, the company has...
Chinese biotech Ascletis Pharma is set to be the first company of its kind to launch an IPO in Hong Kong.
Set to be worth up to $457mn, the company has secured the commitment of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, where the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) will become a key investor, and is set to contribute up to $75mn, purchasing 20% of Ascletis’ shares in the process.
A total of 224.1mn shares are being offered through the IPO, which will be worth between $1.53 and $2.04 each.
Post flotation, the pharmaceutical firm is set to be valued at over $2bn, according to the South China Morning Post.
Proceeds will be spent on funding clinical trials, research and development of a new pipeline of drugs, and commercialisation of the drugs Danoprevir and Ravidasvir.
At present, the company has completed phase three clinical trials, and is optimistic about its use in the territory. The drug was approved by the China Food and Drug Administration in June this year.
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Danoprevir is the first cure for hepatitis C to have been developed by a Chinese company, and the GIC will remain prohibited from selling its holding in the hepatitis C drug developer for six months from the listing date, Bio Spectrum Asia has reported.
Danoprevir has been licensed from Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, enabling the business to commercialise the drug across China. Ravidasvir has been licensed from Presidio Pharmaceuticals. Combined, cure rates rise up to 97%.
“HCV is one of the major public health issues in China. We need to work closely with all parties of the China community to prevent and eliminate HCV ultimately,” said Jinzi J. Wu, Ph.D., Ascletis’ founder, President and CEO.
“CR Pharmaceutical Commercial Group Co., Ltd. is a leading pharmaceutical supply chain solution provider in China. Our subsequent collaboration with CR is an important strategic move for both of us to prevent and eliminate HCV.”
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and China Merchants Securities are the joint sponsors of the deal.
Bachem turns 50 - a timeline
Bachem, a supplier to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. We take a look at the Swiss company's history.
1971 - beginnings
Bachem is founded by entrepreneur Peter Grogg in Liestal, a small town near Basel in Switzerland. Grogg started the firm with just two employees, and with a focus on peptide synthesis - peptides are composed of amino acids that have a variety of functions treating health conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
1977 - 1981 - early growth
Bachem moves its headquarters to the Swiss town of Bubendorf, with eight employees. In 1978 the company produces peptides for use in medicines for the first time. In 1981 production capacity triples and the workforce grows to 150.
1987 - 1996 - worldwide expansion
The company expands into the US with Bachem Bioscience, Inc. in Philadelphia. To strengthen its presence in Europe, Bachem opens sales and marketing centres in Germany in 1988.
Further sales centres open in France in 1993. By 1995 the company employs 190 people. In 1996 it acquires the second largest manufacturer of peptides in the world and forms Bachem California with a site in Torrance.
1998 - 2003 - Bachem goes public
Bachem company goes public and lists shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Further acquisitions include Peninsula Laboratories, Inc, based in California, and Sochinaz SA, a Swiss-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients. By 2001, the company has 500 employees and sales reach 141 million CHF.
In 2003 the organisation is given a new legal holding structure to support its continued growth, which remains in place to this day.
2007 - 2013 - acquisitions
Bachem acquires a brand by Merck Biosciences for ready-to-use clinical trial materials and related services.
In 2013, together with GlyTech, Inc. Bachem announces the development of a new amino acid that can help to treat multiple sclerosis, with a world market of more than $4 billion.
In 2015 it acquires the American Peptide Company (APC), which becomes integrated into Bachem Americas.
2016 - 2019 - a global leader
In 2016 the group opens a new building dedicated to R&D projects and small series production in Bubendorf. With a total of 1,022 employees, the workforce exceeds the 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history. Sales are over the 200 million mark for the first time at 236.5 million CHF.
Bachem expands into Asia with the establishment of a new company in Tokyo called Bachem Japan K.K.
By 2019 Bachem has a growing oligonucleotide portfolio - these are DNA molecules used in genetic testing, research, and forensics. It is hoped this will become a significant product range in the future.
2020 - COVID-19
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachem secures its supply of active ingredients, and even increases it in critical areas. Sales exceed the 400 million Swiss franc mark for the first time, and 272 new employees are hired.
2021 - a milestone anniversary
Bachem celebrates its 50th anniversary and position as a global leader in the manufacture of peptides. While it remains headquartered in Bubendorf, the company employs 1,500 people at six locations worldwide. In the next five years there are plans to continue expanding.
Commemorating the company's anniversary, Kuno Sommer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Bachem's exceptional success story from a small laboratory to a global market leader is closely linked to Peter Grogg's values, and has been shaped by innovation, consistent quality and cost awareness, as well as by entrepreneurial vision."