WuXi Biologics bioconjugates spinout plans $470 million IPO

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

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The Chinese contract research, development and manufacturing organization (CRDMO) WuXi XDC has launched a bid to raise up to HK$3.7 billion (US$470.3 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

According to the company prospectus​, the WuXi Biologics spinout expects to offer 178.4 million shares at a maximum price of HK$20.60 ($2.64) per share, leading to a potential market capitalization of up to HK$24.3 billion ($3.1 billion).

Approximately 67% of the net proceeds are allocated to the expansion of WuXi XDC’s manufacturing capacity of antibody intermediates in its Chinese facilities, in addition to the construction of facilities in Singapore. Another 23% of the offering is earmarked for pursuing strategic alliances, investment and acquisitions for building up its technology offerings. General corporate uses would take up the final 10% of the winnings.

WuXi XDC specializes in speeding up the development and manufacturing of bioconjugate molecules such as antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). The intention for WuXi XDC to list was first announced by parent company WuXi Biologics in July 2023, adding that the decision would allow WuXi XDC to grow as an independent platform as WuXi Biologics focuses its attention on other parts of its business.

WuXi XDC accounted for approximately 6.5% of WuXi Biologics’ revenue and less than 5% of its adjusted net profit in 2022, said the parent company, adding that the spin-off would have no adverse impact on WuXi Biologics’ own operations.

In September 2023, WuXi XDC launched new manufacturing facilities covering nearly 7,000 square meters with one production line dedicated to bioconjugate drug substance and antibody intermediates production and another designed for bioconjugate drug production. The expansion plans were in reaction to increasing global demand for bioconjugates, said the company.

ADCs and other biocojugate drugs are gaining traction in the biotech industry, with the market for this sector expected to grow from $7.9 billion in 2022 to $64.7 billion in 2030, said WuXi XDC’s IPO prospectus. The growth is likely to outstrip that of the market for other biologic drugs, it added. Since bioconjugates are complex molecules, the firm explained that demand is growing for CRDMOs with expertise in their development and production.

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