• Staff

JW Therapeutics Hits Hong Kong Exchange with $300 million Initial Public Offering 💸

As it prepares to bring a new CAR-T therapy to China, JW Therapeutics, a joint venture established by Juno Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle (now part of Bristol Myers Squibb Co.), and WuXi AppTec in 2016, has pulled off a $300 million Initial Public Offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The IPO backed by Goldman Sachs, and UBS comes after JW Therapeutics completed a $100 million series B in June and $90 million series A in 2018. The biotech company listed about 40% of the funds for relmacabtagene autoleucel (relma-cell), an anti-CD19-CAR-T-therapy it is developing for refractory or relapsed B-cell lymphoma, according to a report with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Chinese regulators announced a speedy review into the drug’s regulatory filing and announced in September.

Another 34% of the proceeds are intended to support the ongoing R&D of other candidates, including JWCAR-129, JWATM-203, JWATM-204, and NEX-G. The company will also use 16% of the proceeds to license promising assets to expand its pipeline.

“Listing on HKEX marks a very important milestone for JW Therapeutics,” said CEO James Li. “With a cutting-edge technology platform and research capabilities, we look forward to continuing to invest in driving the full-scale commercialization of our core product candidates, advancing and expanding our pipelines, and enhancing our manufacturing and supply chain through innovation and scale. We are developing a set of new technologies and platforms to enable the next-generation CAR-T product and manufacturing processes with shorter production cycle time, higher quality, better product characterization, and improved product efficacy and safety, at a lower cost.”

The firm's hopes for profit are riding on relma-cel, as it raked $94.63 million losses in 2019. However, the company is looking into the possibilities of developing relma-cel as a therapy for other indications, such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

In furtherance to delivering its mandates, JW Therapeutics has already collaborated with U.S.-Taiwanese biotech firm Acepodia on cell therapies for solid tumors and blood cancers, as well as Lyell on treatments for solid tumors and Eureka on cell therapies for liver cancer.

Global Offering PDF