(CapitalWatch, Oct. 20, New York) LianBio, a clinical-stage biopharma operating in China and the United States, is set to lift off in a New York IPO worth up to $345.1 million next week.
The company is offering 20.3 million American depositary shares in the price range of $15 to $17 apiece. Each ADS represents one ordinary share. At the top of the range, LianBio's valuation would stand at $1.8 billion.
LianBio has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies LLC, BofA Securities Inc., and Raymond James & Associates Inc. to secure its listing.
Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, LianBio conducts the majority of its operations in China. With nine product candidates in its pipeline and three near Phase 3 trial stage, the company focuses on in-licensing assets to Greater China and other Asian markets. Among its partners are Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), Tarsus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TARS), and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).
Early investors in LianBio included funds managed by Pfizer, BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), Farallon Capital, and Perceptive Advisors.
Scheduled for next Thursday, Oct. 28, on the Nasdaq Global Market, LianBio's IPO will mark a comeback of Chinese listings to New York after a four-month halt.
It was early July, shortly after the $4.4 billion fiasco IPO of Didi Global Inc. (NYSE: DIDI), when Beijing said it is reviewing rules for overseas fundraisings. As Beijing prepared new laws, several expected and scheduled Chinese IPOs in New York were canceled or postponed. Specifically, Beijing was looking at rules concerning VIE structure and has tightened its data security laws.
In connection to data security, LianBio stated in its prospectus that patient data obtained during clinical trials in China is anonymized. While uncertainties remain on certain definitions, the company wrote, "To our understanding, the Chinese government has not required life sciences companies to upload clinical study data to any government-designated data centers, or prevented the cross-border transmission and sharing of clinical study data."
Since the new rules were released, just a handful of companies linked to China have publicly filed for a U.S. listing and LianBio was the first to get through to Wall Street.
Other filings came from a Chinese wheelchair company, Jin Medical International Ltd., a small Hong Kong-based online brokerage, Zhong Yang Financial Group Ltd., and FWD Group Holdings Ltd., a Pan-Asian life insurer controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li.
LianBio's flotation will also indicate the level of U.S. investors' willingness to continue backing Chinese stocks after so many of even the "too-big-to-fail" companies lost billions in market value this year amid the regulatory crackdown.
LianBio has reserved the ticker symbol "LIAN" for public trading.