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Singapore’s Prestige Biopharma eyes Feb. IPO on Kospi

Prestige Biopharma CEO Park So-yeon speaks at a briefing held in Seoul on Monday. (Prestige Biopharma)
Prestige Biopharma CEO Park So-yeon speaks at a briefing held in Seoul on Monday. (Prestige Biopharma)
Prestige Biopharma, a Singapore biopharmaceutical firm dedicated to biosimilars and new antibody therapeutic developments, said Monday it is looking to raise as much as 490.9 billion won ($444.5 million) in an initial public offering on the Korean main bourse early next month.

It plans to issue some 15.34 million depository receipts in a price band of 25,000-32,000 won. The exact share price will be set through the two-day book building that is set to wrap up Wednesday. Retail investors’ subscriptions will be accepted Jan. 25-26, with Samsung Securities as the main underwriter.

The IPO proceeds will be used mainly to boost its global market share of biosimilars and pancreatic cancer drugs through research and development, as well as clinical tests, Prestige Biopharma CEO Park So-yeon told reporters in a briefing in Seoul. The fresh capital will also be used to pay share issuance costs and secondary distribution payments, she added.

The 6-year-old biopharma firm has focused on the development of antibody drugs, mostly biosimilars for cancer and rheumatism. One of its major pipelines is the Herceptin biosimilar HD021, designed for treating breast and metastatic gastric cancers. The biosimilar is seeking regulatory approval from European authorities for the sale.

“The biosimilar market is expected to log an average annual growth rate of 25 percent over the next five years,” the CEO said. “Although we’re a second-mover firm entering the market, we’ve strengthened our cost competitiveness by securing our own technical abilities.”

Prestige Biopharma is expected to become the first overseas company to go public on the Kospi through a shortened screening procedure by the Korea Exchange. The procedure -- “special listing on promising business model” -- allows a company’s listing eligibility to be evaluated by its potential instead of established profitability.

“We’ve retained both stability and growth potential to compete against global biopharma firms. After a successful market debut on the Kospi, we’ll make the next leap forward to become a world top-10 antibody biopharma firm,” Park said. “More surprising achievements are to be made.”
 
By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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