China Biotech I-Mab Is Said to Target Up to $500 Million in IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese drug developer I-Mab Biopharma Co. is poised to seek approval for a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $500 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Shanghai-based company plans to submit an application to the Hong Kong stock exchange next week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. I-Mab aims to complete the share sale by the end of the year, they said.

More than 10 biotech companies have applied to begin trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange since the bourse changed its rules in April to allow unprofitable drug developers to join. Shares of Ascletis Pharma Inc., the first to make its debut under the new program, have fallen 46 percent since they began trading in August.

An external representative for I-Mab in Hong Kong declined to comment.

I-Mab is developing treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Jielun Zhu, the former head of Asia health-care investment banking at Jefferies Financial Group Inc., joined the company earlier this month as chief financial officer.

The company counts Hillhouse Capital, Hony Capital and Hopu Investment Management among its investors, according to its website. Hony led a $220 million-round of fundraising this year, while C-Bridge Capital Partners and Shanghai Tasly Pharmaceutical Co. led a $150 million round in 2017.

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