Four law firms act on ImmuneOnco IPO, HK’s first since July

ImmuneOnco IPO

Four law firms have facilitated ImmuneOnco Biopharmaceuticals’ HKD319 million (USD40.7 million) IPO on the HKEX, breaking a 50-day hiatus in listings on the Hong Kong bourse.

Partners Liu Yiming and Michael Yu led Cooley’s team advising ImmuneOnco on Hong Kong and US law, with support from partners Xander Lee, Francis Wheeler and Eric Blanchard.

JunHe advised the issuer on PRC law, and PRC and US intellectual property law. Locke Lord was specifically engaged to analyse one certain relevant patent to assist JunHe.

Kirkland & Ellis acted as Hong Kong and US counsel to the joint sponsors, Morgan Stanley and CICC. Capital markets partners Lu Mengyu and Samantha Peng led the team, with the assistance of tax partner Anne Kim and investment funds partner Kim Kaufman.

Jingtian & Gongcheng acted as PRC counsel to the joint sponsors.

Harvest Fund, WuXi Biologics, RemeGen and ClinChoice were the cornerstone investors.

ImmuneOnco, a company focused on cancer immunotherapy, is currently operating at a loss. However, it has developed a portfolio of 14 drug candidates, eight of which have entered the clinical stage.

This company’s debut has garnered attention in the Hong Kong IPO market due to the absence of listings since 18 July, while also coinciding with ongoing investigations into corruption within the healthcare sector in China since the end of July.

Reuters previously cited sources as reporting that the SSE issued an internal publication in late July demanding brokers and lawyers to ensure compliance and legality in the sales and promotional activities of medical companies. The SSE also emphasised the importance of information disclosure in prospectuses for companies seeking IPOs.