Insilico Medicine files for Hong Kong IPO

AI-powered drug discovery biotech moves focus from New York and hopes to raise $200 million, sources claim.

Hong Kong-based biotech firm Insilico Medicine has redirected its attention towards an initial public offering (IPO) in the city, a move that indicates a change of direction away from its previously planned fundraising initiative in New York.

Insilico has had a slew of headline-generating news this year, including a novel AI-designed inhibitor for cancer, a generative AI-designed drug for COVID-19 and variants, a preclinical candidate for cancer immunotherapy and a new transformer-based aging clock. It’s no wonder, then, that the company might be seeking substantial capital to support its ongoing clinical trials for drugs discovered and designed through the application of AI and deep learning.

Unsurprisingly, specifics regarding the IPO timeline and fundraising target have not yet been made public. However, the exchange filing on Tuesday revealed Morgan Stanley are China International Capital Corporation are joint sponsors of the forthcoming IPO.

According to an article by South China Morning Post, the biotech firm aims to raise approximately $200 million. Although, the report cites undisclosed sources, it does shed some light on the potential funding goal.

In November 2021, Bloomberg reported that Insilico Medicine had previously filed confidentially for an IPO in the United States, with an anticipated fundraising amount of around $300 million. However, those plans have failed to materialize, perhaps explaining the company’s pivot towards Hong Kong.

Insilico Medicine secured a total of $95 million in two Series D in June and August last year. Investors participating in the rounds including established shareholders such as Warburg Pincus, B Capital, Prosperity7 Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, Bold Capital Partners, Pavilion Capital and others.

In the preceding year, Insilico Medicine successfully raised $255 million in its series C funding round; this raise included contributions from the VC division of pharmaceutical behemoth Eli Lilly and Sequoia Capital China.

Insilico Medicine’s decision to pursue an IPO in Hong Kong would dovetail with its determination to advance its AI-driven drug trials and bring about better longevity outcomes. This, of course, needs the necessary financial resources, and presents an opportunity for investors to participate in a cutting-edge biotech enterprise poised to make additional significant advancements in the field of longevity research and development.

Photograph: leungchopan/Envato