Warburg-Backed Hong Kong Firm That Uses AI for Drug Discovery Files for U.S. IPO
(Bloomberg) -- Insilico Medicine, a Hong Kong-based company that uses artificial intelligence to drive drug discovery, filed confidentially for a U.S. initial public offering last week, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Warburg Pincus-backed firm is working with advisers on the first-time share sale and is looking to raise around $300 million, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
Insilico was considering seeking a U.S. listing as soon as later this year, Bloomberg News reported in July.
Deliberations are ongoing and the company could decide not to go ahead with the IPO, the people said. Insilico didn’t immediately respond to calls or emails seeking comment.
Chinese companies have all but disappeared from the list of IPO candidates on U.S. exchanges, following a crackdown on overseas listings by Beijing that wiped about $1 trillion off the aggregate market value of its listed firms. Even Hong Kong companies have faced detailed queries from the Securities and Exchange Commission. A proposed listing by billionaire Richard Li’s FWD Group Holdings Ltd. is stalled as it awaits regulator approval, Bloomberg News reported in October.
LianBio, a biotechnology company with U.S. owners that does business primarily in China, priced its $325 million IPO last week, indicating that some companies may still be acceptable to regulators. Its shares fell 14% during their first day of trading Tuesday.
Founded in 2014, Insilico works with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and uses artificial intelligence to help improve their research and therapeutics and materials discovery, according to its website.
The firm’s technology has helped generate drug candidates and complete pre-clinical studies to treat a pulmonary disease. Its partners include U.S. pharma giants Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, and Japanese drugmakers Astellas Pharma Inc. and Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co.
In addition to Warburg Pincus, Insilico also counts Qiming Venture Partners, Baidu Ventures, OrbiMed, Mirae Asset Capital and Sequoia Capital China as backers.
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