The treatment market using bispecific antibodies is likely to grow rapidly, and developers of such novel drugs are drawing keen attention, analysts said.
A bispecific antibody targets two different types of antigen proteins, making it possible to suppress mutations caused by cancer cell progression, observers say. The bispecific antibody market is expected to expand from $180 million in 2017 to $9.3 billion in 2030, according to Roots Analysis 2017.
As the bispecific antibody industry is in its early stage, local biotech firms with advanced technologies may lead the market, analysts said.
Analyst Kim Ji-ha and Bae Gi-dal at Shinhan Investment Corp. said in a report on Wednesday that ABL Bio was leading the domestic bispecific antibody sector.
ABL Bio plans to go public on the secondary KOSDAQ market in mid-December. The company became the first Korean firm to obtain approval for a phase-1 clinical trial on a bispecific antibody treatment ABL001 in August last year.
According to the company, ABL001 targets VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and DLL4 (Delta-like 4) simultaneously and inhibits angiogenesis. TRIGR Therapeutics of the U.S. signed a licensing-in deal to have exclusive rights to use the drug worldwide except for Korea and Japan.
“ABL Bio proved its technological edge by successfully signing a licensing-out deal. The company’s development of bispecific antibody treatment is faster than that of other similar firms in Korea,” the analysts’ report said. “Because the global bispecific antibody market is at an initial stage, we see many licensing-out deals. Investors should pay attention to related companies.”
ABL Bio aims to raise 6 million shares, targets offering price at 15,000 won ($13.3) per share, and raise 90 billion won through the initial public offering. An IPO with the offering price of 15,000 won, its market capitalization will be 668.8 billion won.
Out of the fund raised by an IPO, the company will use 57.7 billion won for research and development. In detail, it will allocate 2.4 billion won for developing an anticancer/antibody to inhibit angiogenesis, 19.1 billion won for T-cell involving bispecific antibody, 8.9 billion won for immunotherapy bispecific antibody, 5 billion won for new immunotherapy, 5.3 billion won for antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), and 9.9 billion won for degenerative brain disease bispecific antibody.