Zai Lab Files for IPO

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Zai Lab has registered an F-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its initial public offering (IPO). No pricing details were given in the filing, but the offering is valued up to $115 million. The company intends to list its American depositary shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol ZLAB.

The underwriters for the offering are JPMorgan, Citigroup and Leerink partners.

This is an innovative biopharmaceutical company based in Shanghai and focusing on discovering or licensing, developing and commercializing proprietary therapeutics that address areas of large unmet medical need in the China market, including in the areas of oncology and autoimmune and infectious diseases.

Management believes there exists a significant opportunity to build an organization that not only addresses such unmet needs but leverages underutilized resources in China to foster innovation. As part of that effort, Zai Lab has assembled a management team with global experience and an extensive track record in navigating the regulatory process to develop and commercialize innovative drugs in China.

Zai Lab was built on the vision that China has historically lacked access to many innovative therapies available in other parts of the world and its drug development infrastructure has been underutilized. In recent years, the Chinese government has focused on promoting local innovation through streamlining regulatory processes, improving drug quality standards and fostering a favorable environment, which we believe creates an attractive opportunity for the growth of China-based, innovation-focused companies.

The company said in the filing:

Since our founding in 2014, we have assembled an innovative pipeline consisting of six drug candidates through partnerships with global biopharmaceutical companies. These include three late-stage assets targeting fast growing segments of China’s pharmaceutical market and three assets addressing global unmet medical needs. We believe that our management’s extensive global drug development expertise, combined with our demonstrated understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, clinical resources and regulatory system in China, has provided us, and will continue to provide us, opportunities to partner with global companies aiming to bring innovative products to market in China efficiently. Our lead drug candidate is niraparib, a PARP inhibitor licensed from Tesaro. We intend to develop niraparib for Chinese patients across multiple tumor types and anticipate beginning two Phase III studies of niraparib in patients with ovarian cancer, one in the second half of 2017 and the other in the first half of 2018. In addition, we intend to pursue niraparib in other indications.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to further develop its pipeline, with the remainder going toward research and clinical development of other drug candidates, not to mention working capital and general corporate purposes as well.