Biopharma Developer I-Mab Applies for $100 Million U.S. IPO

The Chinese innovator in immunotherapy, aiming to grow into “a fully integrated end-to-end global biopharmaceutical company in the next few years,” expects to become publicly listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “IMAB" before the end of the year.

CapitalWatch Staff
    Oct 29, 2019 4:05 PM  PT
Biopharma Developer I-Mab Applies for $100 Million U.S. IPO
author: CapitalWatch Staff   

Biopharma developer I-Mab is the latest in a slew of Chinese companies applying for an initial public offering in New York in the window of eased Sino-U.S. tensions and ahead of the turbulence expected in the upcoming elections.

Based in Shanghai and going multinational, the immunotherapy biotech company is targeting to raise up to $100 million from Wall Street investors, according to its filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 2014, I-Mab conducts the discovery and trials, as well as the commercialization, of medical treatments of cancer and autoimmune diseases. In addition to Shanghai, it conducts operations in Beijing, Hangzhou and the United States, according to its filing.

The company has a number of in-licensing deals and arrangements for out-licensing, both internationally and domestically. Among I-Mab's partners are MorphoSys, Genexine, MacroGenics, Ferring, ABL Bio, Everest Medicines and WuXi Biologics. Genexine is a shareholder in I-Mab.

In its prospectus, I-Mab listed four key drivers of growth in its sector.

·       Increased cases of cancer in China outpacing those in the United States and globally;

·       Treatments approved in the U.S. and Europe not yet available in China;

·       Fast-track approval of clinical trials and drugs by Chinese authorities; and

·       Growth of personal income in China led to improved health insurance coverage.

The company also noted that it maintains a continuous dialogue with China regulators to ensure compliance with the standards in the industry and support from the government.

I-Mab said it had five investigational drugs preparing for release in the near-term that have met endpoints in phase 1 or phase 2 clinical trials in Europe and the United States and are undergoing phase 2 or phase 3 clinical trials. The company has a number of other developments underway, including registrational trials in Taiwan for TJ202 and investigational new drug trials in multiple myeloma in China. The company is also seeking clinical validation in the United States for its own novel or differentiated biologics, according to its filing.

I-Mab said market research consultancy Frost & Sullivan ranked it as a top clinical stage immunology player in China in terms of " the innovative quality and number of investigational drugs and drug candidates under clinical and pre-clinical development in our pipeline, amount of pre-IPO financing raised (in excess of US$400 million in three years), pre-IPO valuation and recognition and awards earned in the biotech industry."

For 2018, I-Mab reported revenue of $7.8 million, a fivefold increase from 2017. Net losses that year widened 35% to $58.7 million, according to the report. In the six months through June 2019, I-Mab said revenue was $2.2 million, down 30% year-over-year. Net loss was $124.9 million in the half-year. As of June 30, I-Mab had cash and cash equivalents of $184.9 million, the prospectus stated.

China's biologics market is expected to reach $189.4 billion in sales by 2030, I-Mab said, citing research by Frost & Sullivan. That growth rate is reportedly faster than that of the global biologics market.

The biopharma company said it intends to use the proceeds from its IPO for research and development of drug candidates, to invest in trials in China and the United States and to fund the construction of its manufacturing facilities in Hangzhou. The rest will be applied to working capital, strategic acquisitions and general corporate purposes.

Jefferies LLC and China International Capital Corp. Hong Kong Securities Ltd. are acting as the book-running managers of I-Mab's offering and as the representatives of the underwriters. Also securing the deal are China Renaissance Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd. and Huatai Securities (USA) Inc.

The innovator in immunotherapy, which hopes to grow into "a fully integrated end-to-end global biopharmaceutical company in the next few years," said it will apply to trade its shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "IMAB."

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