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Fosun subsidiary Henlius applies to list in Hong Kong

Shanghai Henlius Biotech Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd. and Fosun International Ltd., applied to go public on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Shanghai-based Henlius is the 13th biotech company to apply for an IPO in Hong Kong after the exchange relaxed listing rules in April to allow pre-revenue and pre-profit biotech companies to list in Hong Kong.

China International Capital Corp., Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CMB International, Fosun Hani and Citi are the joint sponsors of the listing. Bloomberg reported in February, citing anonymous sources, that Henlius could raise at least $500 million in the Hong Kong IPO.

Henlius plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to fund ongoing clinical trials for drugs in its pipeline. The company, established in 2010, develops monoclonal antibody treatments for illnesses including cancer and autoimmune diseases. It has over 20 biologics and biosimilar drugs in its pipeline now, including blood cancer therapy HLX01.

HLX01, or Rituximab, a biosimilar of Roche Holding AG's MabThera, is currently under priority review for commercialization approval in China as a treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Henlius expects to receive regulatory approval in China in late 2018 or early 2019. The company is also testing the drug as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that leads to swollen and painful joints.

The company's breast cancer therapy HLX02, a copycat version of Roche's Herceptin, and colorectal cancer drug HLX04, a biosimilar of Roche's Avastin, are both under phase 3 trials.

Rituximab injection, Herceptin, and Avastin are all included on China's national drug reimbursement list.

Fosun Pharmaceutical, which manufactures drugs, medical devices and operates hospitals, was founded by billionaire Guo Guangchang. Guo is also the chairman of Fosun International and owns a stake in Henlius.