|Founder and CEO of Prestige Biopharma Park So-yeon speaks during a press conference held at Conrad Seoul on Yeouido on Monday. / Courtesy of Prestige BioPharma|
Prestige BioPharma aims to be top provider in fast-growing global biosimilar market
By Anna J. Park
Singapore-headquartered Prestige BioPharma, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of biosimilars and new antibody therapeutics, is set for initial public offering (IPO) on the nation's main benchmark KOSPI early next month.
The firm's main pipelines are biosimilars, global blockbuster drugs whose patent period is expired. Biosimilars should not be confused with generic drugs, which are a simple copy of a synthetic drug. The former involve a much more complex process as they are made from living cell constituents.
The global biosimilar market was valued at about $73 billion in 2020, and is estimated to grow at an average annual rate of 20 percent to 25 percent until 2026, when the value could be as much as $188 billion.
Prestige BioPharma is developing various biosimilars, and three of them are nearing completion. Its Trastuzumab, or Herceptin Biosimilar, used for treating breast cancer is now awaiting final approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and is expected to hit the European market in late 2021. The global market size for this alone was around $6.1 billion last year, and Prestige BioPharma is estimated to rank ninth in market share.
Another main pipeline drug is a Bevacizumab biosimilar, which is in Phase 3 clinical trials. The biosimilar originally developed by Avastin treats colorectal, lung, brain, kidney, cervical and ovarian cancers. An Adalimumab biosimilar for treating inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis is in Phase 1 clinical trials. The firm also aims to develop a new drug for pancreatic cancer as well as ovarian cancer.
"Prestige BioPharma is focusing on developing biosimilars with a competitive price edge and quality as well as new antibody therapeutics," CEO Park So-yeon said during a press conference held at the Conrad Seoul on Yeouido, Monday. "The company aims to leap forward as a global pharmaceutical firm through continuous R&D and technological cooperation with global partners," the pharmacist-turned-CEO said.
Founded by Park back in 2015 in Singapore, the biopharmaceutical company aims to raise 385 billion won ($348 million) at a minimum from the IPO, as the initial price of the company's 15 million shares is expected to be set between 25,000 won and 32,000 won. After the IPO is completed early next month, the firm's corporate value will be an estimated 1.8 trillion won.
Samsung Securities is underwriting the offering, and the firm's shares will be open for a public allotment subscription for two days ― Jan. 25 and 26. The newly raised capital will mainly be reinvested in R&D. More than 70 percent of the firm's 70 employees are researchers.
Prestige Biologics, a partner and subsidiary CMO firm of Prestige BioPharma, is also preparing for its upcoming IPO on the tech-heavy Kosdaq in a few months.