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Biosimilar maker Mabpharm applies for Hong Kong IPO

Mabpharm Ltd, a pre-revenue company developing biosimilars of therapies for cancers and autoimmune diseases, applied to go public in Hong Kong.

Biosimilars are intended to be lower-cost versions of biologic therapies.

Goa, India-based Mabpharm's CMAB007, a copycat version of Roche Holding AG's asthma drug Xolair; CMAB009, a biosimilar of Eli Lilly and Co.'s head and neck cancer drug Erbitux and CMAB008, a copy of Johnson & Johnson's inflammatory disease drug Remicade are all being evaluated in clinical trials.

The company's CMAB809 and CMAB819, biosimilars of AbbVie Inc.'s top-selling inflammatory disease drug Humira and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s cancer immunotherapy Opdivo, respectively, have also been approved for clinical trials.

China International Capital Corp. Hong Kong Securities Ltd. is the sole sponsor for the IPO.

Hong Kong has wooed biotechnology companies to list in the city after it tweaked its listing rules in April 2018 to allow pre-revenue companies to go public on its exchange. China is also planning a similar move to attract pre-revenue biotechs.