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A Rising Star in Chinese Pharma Industry Marks Market Debut in Hong Kong
By Judy Ya-Hsuan Lin
Simcere Pharmaceutical Group Limited is one of the top 100 pharmaceutical companies in China, and its major focuses are in cancer, central nervous system, and autoimmune diseases. Being the first Chinese pharma to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007, Simcere marked another milestone again in 2013 by completing its privatization by repurchasing shares.
On October 27th, Simcere was officially listed as HKEX:2096 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. According to the prospectus delivered by Simcere to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, a total of 261 million shares priced at HK$13.70 per share were sold globally by that date, and the net proceeds are expected to reach approximately HK$3.57 billion. The funds raised on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will be used for therapeutic development and commercialization. According to Simcere, 60% will be used in therapeutic research and development, and the remaining 40% will be utilized in commercialization.
Critical Milestones Marked
Simcere has consistently invested in innovative research and development for years, constantly marking milestones. The proportion of research and development costs has increased from 5.5% in 2017 to 23.6% in the first half of 2020. The proportion of revenue for the year 2018, 2019, and the first half of 2020 is 21.4%, 25.5%, 32.9%, and 40.4%, respectively.
This year, Simcere launched two blockbuster products. One is the first class of a new drug, which is edaravone, and dexcamphanol injection concentrated solution is the only stroke treatment drug approved for sale in the world within the past 5 years. The second is the rheumatoid arthritis biologic drug Enrexol, or abatacept injection, the world’s first T-cell co-stimulatory immunomodulator, which is developed in cooperation with Bristol-Myers Squibb. The sales of this drug reached $3.2 billion in 2019.
Product Portfolio & Pipeline in Innovative Transformation
Besides the tremendous expansion and medication approvals, Simcere’s R&D pipeline has 50 products under development at different stages. Among them, KN035 (envafolimab), a subcutaneously injectable PD-L1 inhibitor, is a product exclusively authorized in China.
Besides, Simcere has nearly 10 products under development that have obtained new drug clinical approvals or are undergoing clinical trials, including three CAR-T cell treatments for the popular target CD-19. They are self-developed small molecules, second-generation NTRK targeted drugs, and innovative small-molecule drugs for psoriasis. Among those newly approved drugs, the self-developed small molecule for tumor support therapy jointly developed by Simcere and G1 Therapeutics has been approved by the USFDA as a breakthrough therapy. It is expected to start a phase I clinical trial in China in 2021.
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