Chinese Immuno-Oncology Firm I-Mab's IPO Lands on NASDAQ
COVID-19 and China
I-Mab is the first Chinese company in two years to try the US boards for an IPO. Image: Credit to Shutterstock

Chinese antibody developer I-Mab Biopharma's (IMAB) long-anticipated IPO lands on NASDAQ on 16 January, in a move to bankroll its ongoing oncological drug pipelines following the successful landing of USD 100 million. The company is the first Chinese biotech company to do so in around two years, as most of the companies from the mainland have forayed into the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, thanks to the updated regulatory approval process at the Fragrant Harbour's bourse.

The IPO date is pregnant with meaning, in the sense that it is just after JPMorgan's healthcare event in SF – healthcare private equity heavyweights have whispered for the entire week on what they think may be a lucrative deal to take.

Prior to its initial public offering, the cancer drug developer has issued over USD 300 million worth of shares to a plethora of venture capitalists and private equity arms of pharmaceutical behemoths, including Wuxi Apptec's (SH: 603259) venture capital arm and Ally Bridge Group, a new amendment onto the company's IPO filing revealed.

The company's primary market investors, Caesar Pro Holdings Limited, Wuxi Biologics, and Hongkong Tigermed, overvalued the company in its Series C-1 by offering USD 16.1 per ADS in the fall of 2019, the amendment has also revealed. The firm is expecting to price its shares within a price range of USD 12 to USD 15 by offering 7.4 million in ADS to the public.

The company sees its novel or "highly differentiated" drugs TJ202, TJ107, enoblituzumab, and TJ101, as the four anchor assets in its China Portfolio, and planning to support them by the windfall of the public funds.

China is one of the flag-carriers of cancer immunotherapy and the number of active drugs in development grew 91% between 2017-2019. I-Mab will be representing China's IO advancements in the US, and EqualOcean will keep watching this firm: as we have been doing from the get-go.

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