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Hansoh Pharma shares head skyward after HKEX debut

Adds to China's growing presence in life sciences

hansoh

Shares in newly-listed Chinese drugmaker Hansoh Pharma have risen sharply on their debut in Hong Kong, propelling its founder Zhong Huijuan onto the billionaire list.

Jiangsu-based Hansoh raised around $1bn from its initial public offering (IPO) on the HKEX last week, right at the top of its expected range, and after trading started today shares rose from just over HK$16 to a peak of HK$21 before falling back slightly.

Hansoh was set up in 2015 by Zhong, a former chemistry teacher and wife of Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine founder Sun Piaoyang, another Chinese pharma billionaire.

Since its inception it has become a major producer of generic cancer and central nervous system drugs for China’s domestic market, and has also brought two Category 1.1 innovative drugs through to registration, including a once-weekly pegylated formulation of GLP-1 agonist loxenatide for type 2 diabetes which was launched last month.

Six other new chemical entities are in the mid- to late-stage pipeline, including a third-generation EGFR inhibitor that could be a rival to AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso (osimertinib) in China and has been filed for EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Sales revenue was RMB 7.7bn ($1.1bn) in year, up almost 25%, with profits of RMB 1.9bn, according to a prospectus filed with the HKEX for the IPO, coming on the back of surging healthcare spending in China.

For now, the company says it has no ambitions to expand beyond the Chinese market, and the proceeds of its IPO are earmarked for domestic R&D, manufacturing and sales/marketing investments.

The sharp rise in Hansoh’s share price came against a dip in the HKEX overall as Hong Kong continues to be affected by the protests caused by the government’s decision to back an extradition bill that could result in suspected criminals being sent to mainland China.

It has been a slow year for IPOs in Hong Kong after a bumper 2018 that saw the former colony selected as a listing location for a clutch of biotech companies, including BeiGene and WuXi AppTec, after changing regulations to allow companies without revenues or profits to list on the HKEX.

Article by
Phil Taylor

14th June 2019

From: Regulatory

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