A number of companies backed by Korean bio names are aiming for Nasdaq with hopes to become the next Coupang to raise big money and go global through U.S. listing.
According to market experts on Tuesday, ImmuneOncia Therapeutics, a joint venture between Yuhan Corporation and U.S. Sorrento Therapeutics, and Artiva Biotherapeutics, a U.S. affiliate of GC LabCell, are strong candidates to join the tech-heavy market given their drug development capabilities recognized globally.
ImmuneOncia, a clinical-stage, immuno-oncology company, last month announced an exclusive license agreement worth 532 billion won ($472 million) with China’s 3D Medicines for the development, manufacture and commercialization of ImmuneOncia`s monoclonal antibody.
ImmuneOncia jointly established by Yuhan and Nasdaq-listed Sorrento Therapeutics in 2016 is conducting a phase 2 clinical trial of IMC-001, a PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, in Korea and a phase 1 study in the U.S.
Unlike ImmuneOncia’s direct IPO method, Artiva Biotherapeutics is preparing to go public as a U.S. operation. Artiva Biotherapeutics was established in the U.S. by Korea’s GC and GC LabCell in 2019 for global R&D projects. According to GC LabCell, the Korean companies filed for IPO of Artiva on the New York Stock Exchange last week.
CoImmune, a joint venture established in the U.S. by Korea’s SCM Lifescience and Genexine, is another Korean bio name preparing to get listed on the Nasdaq. CoImmune is developing novel therapies leukemia and other highly unmet diseases.
Aprogen recently signed an advisory contract with Nomura Securities to seek its IPO on the Nasdaq. ROKIT Healthcare, L&K BIOMED, and Dong-A ST are among those considering their Nasdaq debut by acquiring a controlling stake in U.S. operations.
By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim
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