AnPac, an International Biotech Company, Raises $16 Million on Nasdaq

AnPac aims to save lives with its technology by detecting early signs of certain cancers in a way that may be the most affordable yet.

Anna Vodopyanova
    Jan 30, 2020 2:00 PM  PT
AnPac, an International Biotech Company, Raises $16 Million on Nasdaq
author: Anna Vodopyanova   

AnPac Bio-Medical Science Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: ANPC), operating in both China and the United States, lifted off on Thursday in a $16 million initial public offering in New York.

The company sold 1.3 million of its American depositary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market at the price of $12 apiece. Its shares floated in the afternoon and slipped to $11.25 by close.

AnPac aims to save lives with its technology by detecting early signs of certain cancers in a way that may be the most affordable yet.

The biotechnology company, led by an international team, was the first in the world to develop a cancer detection and screening test based on the biophysical properties of blood, according to research by independent market analyst Frost & Sullivan cited in AnPac's prospectus. Those properties are acoustical, electrical, magnetic, nano-mechanical and optical – and they were found to differ when a tumor, or a risk of it, is present.

The tests have no harmful effects, generate "far fewer ‘false positives'" and cost "substantially lower than traditional testing (such as imaging)," AnPac said in a statement on its official website. To carry out its patented cancer differentiation analysis (CDA), the company said it only needs a standard blood sample from a patient to run through its proprietary cancer detection device.

So far, as of September, its database had 140,000 blood samples of different parameters, according to AnPac's filings. That was one of the world's most extensive databases in terms of the number of clinical samples for cancer screening, the company reported, citing Frost & Sullivan.

AnPac has enjoyed fast sales growth in China since 2015 when it commercialized its CDA technology. In the United States, it plans to do so in the near-term – as soon as in 2020, according to the prospectus. It has set up a clinical studies lab in San Jose, for which it received registration in March 2019 and plans to open facilities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2020.

In addition, AnPac is collaborating with U.S. universities and medical centers. According to the prospectus, it has recently launched research in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh's Medical Center for the screening and detection of esophageal and gynecologic cancers. Since 2017, it has been testing its technology for application to early cancer screening for canines with the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of California, Davis.

In China, AnPac conducts commercial CDA tests in its principal clinical facility in Lishui, Zhejiang Province. It also operates a laboratory in Haikou, Hainan Province, which focuses on licensed genomics and performs gene sequencing tests. Lastly, AnPac's technology development center is located in Shanghai, according to the prospectus.

It is also working with a number of medical institutions in China for various studies, including for the application of its technology to detect the risk of non-cancerous diseases, including lung diseases, type II diabetes and heart diseases, AnPac stated in its filing.

As of September, AnPac has applied for 210 patents globally, across 20 countries and regions. So far, it has won 121 patents, of which 16 were in the United States. More than 100 patents of the company are pending globally.

"Our patent applications broadly cover apparatus and methods for early stage disease detection, and they strategically encompass important specific embodiments of these apparatus and methods," AnPac stated.

AnPac also said its patent portfolio is among the largest in the world in the cancer screening and detection field, as supported by Frost & Sullivan research.

As of September 2019, AnPac's technology detected the risks of 26 types of cancers, which accounted for more than 80% of cancers in China, according to the prospectus. The company says on its official website that its CDA test provides results with a high accuracy of 85% to 90% in "sensitivity and specificity for most cancer types."

AnPac is led by co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer Dr. Chris Chang Yu, who was the first or principal inventor of more than 300 patent applications, among which over 100 are related to cancer diagnostics. Yu's expertise lies in the semiconductor, integrated circuit materials, life sciences and environmental protection industries.

Yu's partner in founding AnPac and the company's chief medical officer, Dr. Herbert He Yu, is an expert in molecular epidemiology, with training in medicine, epidemiology and clinical biochemistry.

AnPac's vice president in charge of R&D, Xuedong Du, is also a serial inventor on 100 patent international applications.

AnPac said it plans to invest the funds from its IPO in New York for research studies in China and the United States, the development of new cancer detection tests, and for marketing and sales.

Securing the offering are WestPark Capital Inc. and Univest Securities LLC. They may purchase up to an additional 200,004 shares for over-allotment.

AnPac's motto is "the best way to beat cancer is to catch it early."