(Bloomberg) -- Alvotech, an Iceland-based biosimilars producer, is weighing a private round of funding that could raise about $350 million ahead of a potential Hong Kong initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Alvotech management will hold meetings with prospective investors before deciding whether to proceed with the fundraising, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The firm, which is a sister company of CVC Capital-backed generic drugmaker Alvogen, is considering a Hong Kong listing as soon as next year, the people said.
Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said.
The biotech company is considering a Hong Kong listing after the city’s exchange changed rules in April to attract a wider range of health-care companies. Grail Inc., a cancer detection startup backed by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, and U.S.-based drug developer Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc. are planning to sell shares in Hong Kong as early as this year, people familiar with the matter have said.
Halldor Kristmannsson, a spokesman for Reykjavik-based Alvotech, said the company will continue to evaluate strategic options for growth. Alvotech is currently seeing strong investor interest for biotech companies in Asia, Kristmannsson said.
One alternative to further expand Alvotech’s global business is a public listing, and Hong Kong could be an interesting listing venue, he said. At this point, no formal decisions have been made, according to Kristmannsson.
Alvotech was founded in 2013 by Alvogen Chairman Robert Wessman. It produces so-called biosimilars, nearly identical copies of existing drugs that are made from biological material.
The company’s product pipeline consists of seven biosimilars of monoclonal antibodies for diseases including cancer, according to Alvotech’s website, which cited estimates that more than $100 billion of biologic medicines will lose patent protection by 2020. Alvotech bought Germany’s Baliopharm GmbH in 2016 to strengthen its biopharmaceutical development capabilities.
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