Two Years On, China’s STAR Attracts Star Players But With New Hurdles
Ongoing Competition From HKEX
Created to take on Nasdaq in the US, the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s STAR Market is celebrating its two-year anniversary with star performers such as CanSino. But its viability as an alternative will be tested by BeiGene, which is set to start trading in Shanghai following dual listings in New York and Hong Kong, with the latter continuing to attract other biopharma IPOs.
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China has officially unveiled its newest stock market for pre-revenue high-tech companies, already attracting ChipScreen and marking a new rival to similar bourses in the US and Hong Kong. But some are cautioning that local regulators and investors will need to step up if the so-called China Nasdaq is to gain traction.
The introduction of new listing rules in Hong Kong makes it easier for biotech companies to go public and provides incentives for both China-based and international companies to float there rather than in New York or elsewhere, although some concerns linger.
Akeso’s PD-1/CTLA-4-targeting therapy cadonilimab has been the front-runner in the bispecific antibody field in China, leading about 50 other similar agents under development by domestic pharma firms. With a new conditional approval, it has also gained a head start over home-grown PD-1/L1 antibody rivals in the cervical cancer space.