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Report: Stealth BioTherapeutics plans Hong Kong IPO

Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc. intends to launch an IPO in Hong Kong as soon as 2018, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The Newton, Mass.-based biotechnology company — which develops therapies for diseases involving dysfunction of the mitochondria, the cell structure which creates energy — could aim to raise about $200 million, according to Bloomberg's sources. The company has tapped advisers for the proposed transaction, whose preparations are at an early stage.

Stealth's IPO proposal comes as Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., the parent company of the city's stock exchange, expands its listing regime to cover specific criteria for qualified biotech companies that have yet to generate revenue or profit. Ascletis Inc. was the first biotech company to lodge an application under the new listing rules, according to the report.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup Grail Inc. — which develops a blood screening test for early cancer detection and whose investors include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates — and China's Shanghai Henlius Biotech Co. Ltd. — which develops monoclonal antibody drugs and is backed by Fosun International Ltd. — are both planning to float in Hong Kong, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.