Eye on Pharma: Celltrion Seeks to Expand Portfolio After IPO

Celltrion Healthcare, the marketing subsidiary of Celltrion Inc, has secured approximately $886.3 million—well over a previously projected $713 million—in its July initial public offering of 24.6 million primary shares. 
The Center for Biosimilars Staff
July 17, 2017
Global Capital Asia reports that Celltrion Healthcare, the marketing subsidiary of Celltrion Inc, has secured approximately $886.3 million—well over a previously projected $713 million—in its July initial public offering (IPO) of 24.6 million primary shares. 

CEO of Celltrion Healthcare, Kim Man-Hoon, has announced that the Korean biosimilar maker is seeking additional drug candidates as it leverages its newly raised funds to broaden its product portfolio. According to Bio Spectrum Asia, Celltrion’s expansion will include international investment, strategic acquisition, joint ventures, and licensing partnerships with new drug developers as the company expands and capitalizes on its already robust pipeline. “We have plans to launch a major biosimilar every year until 2019,” Kim said. 

Kim went on to indicate that among the company’s chief aims is the acquisition of US-based biotechnology companies as Celltrion expands its presence in the lucrative US marketplace. “By taking over US biotech firms, we expect to boost Celltrion Healthcare’s brand awareness and market share,” said Kim. 

The biosimilar manufacturer, which announced that it had submitted to the FDA its Biologics License Application (BLA) for a proposed biosimilar rituximab product in June, reports 6 biosimilars currently under development:
  • Remsima SC (infliximab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis)
  • CT-P16 (bevacizumab for the treatment of large intestine cancer)
  • CT-P05 (etanercept for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis)
  • CT-P15 (cetuximab for the treatment of colorectal cancer)
  • CT-P14 (palivizumab for the treatment of respiratory diseases)
  • CTP-17 (adalimumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis).
The company is also developing 5 innovator biologics for influenza, rabies, hepatitis B virus, and others. 

The successful IPO is welcome news to the Incheon-based company that, earlier this year, had to delay its offering after local regulators and accountants demanded a comprehensive audit of the company’s accounting practices. In March, the Korean Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a body that reviews the eligibility of firms to offer shares, found that Celltrion Healthcare had overstated its profits by approximately $8.94 million. 

While many in the industry feared that the audit would set the biosimilar manufacturer’s IPO back by 6 months or more, Celltrion Healthcare confidently—and correctly—predicted that the process would not have a significant impact on its timeline for launching the IPO. 

Celltrion’s stock will begin trading on the Korean market on July 28, and is expected to be the second most valuable company on the Kosdaq index. 

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