PharmAbcine, an immuno-oncology company, might be a promising biotech firm once it goes public on the KOSDAQ market with anticancer pipelines, industry sources said.
The biotech firm had failed to be listed on the tech-heavy exchange under the “technology exception policy” twice. However, it finally passed the Korea Exchange’s preliminary review for listing in a third try. The company may be able to go public within this year, observers said.
The company will raise a fund with new shares 100 percent, and it hopes to set the offering price between 43,000 won and 55,000 won ($38.47-$49.2) per share. The company plans to sell 6,812,226 shares and predicts the market capitalization to reach 292.9 billion won-374.7 billion won.
Biotech firms on KOSDAQ with similar a market cap include stem cell therapy developer Kangstem Biotech (352.6 billion won), peptide-based medicine developer Peptron (372.4 billion won), and biobetters company Alteogen (385.6 billion won).
PharmAbcine’s investigational brain cancer treatment Tanibirumab was designated as an orphan drug for brain cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company received approval for a phase-2 trial last month. In the same month in Australia, the company obtained the nod for phase-1b study for combining the treatment with immunotherapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab).
Analysts said the combo therapy of Tanibirumab and the immunotherapy would raise the value of Tanibirumab, the flagship pipeline of PharmAbcine.
Analysts Lee Hye-rin and Kang Ha-young at KTB Investment & Securities said in a report on Monday that a market cap below 400 billion won for PharmAbcine would not be burdensome compared to other similar companies’ market caps.
The market cap of SillaJen, which has an anticancer pipeline in global trials, is about 1.7 trillion won. That of HLB is 3.6 trillion won (in a phase-3 study) and Genexine, 1.7 trillion won (in a phase-1b trial).
New antibody drug developer Legochem Biosciences, having its platform technology, has 600 billion won in market cap. Alteogen’s market cap is 400 billion won, and that of AbClon, 300 billion won, the two analysts noted.
According to PharmAbcine, Tanibirumab (TTAC-0001) neutralizes the signals of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) within vascular endothelial cells, thereby inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels in the tumor. Ultimately, the substance inhibits tumor growth and metastasis.
The company hopes to license out Tanibirumab in major anticancer markets including the U.S., Europe, and Japan.