Thu, Apr 05, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Vaccine maker Adimmune to list on TWSE

INFECTIOUS OPTIMISM:The firm lost money last year, but it has a range of new vaccines under development and it is eyeing the Chinese market

Staff writer, with CNA

Adimmune Corp (國光生技), a Taiwanese vaccine developer, said on Tuesday that it is scheduled to list on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) on May 3.

According to a prospectus posted on the exchange’s Web site, the company, which was established in 1965 and is capitalized at NT$1.64 billion (US$55.59 million), is planning to issue 19.53 million shares to raise about NT$976.50 million in working capital.

While Adimmune has set a tentative issue price of NT$50 for the shares, market analysts said the actual price is expected to range between NT$40 and NT$43.

Adimmune, which is the only vaccine manufacturer in Asia to have obtained GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification from the EU, specializes in the development of vaccines for influenza, Japanese encephalitis and tetanus.

Adimmune has teamed up with Dutch-based biotech company Crucell, the world’s sixth-largest flu vaccine manufacturer, for technological cooperation, while it has also partnered with Japan’s largest flu vaccine developer, the Kitasato Institute.

Crucell is one of the company’s majority shareholders, with an 11.39 percent stake, according to the prospectus.

Adimmune chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) told investors that the company completed animal testing for an H5N1 avian flu vaccine at the end of last year and is expected to begin human testing this year.

In addition, Chan said the company’s enterovirus 71 vaccine, which is undergoing clinical trials, is scheduled to hit the market in 2017, while a dengue fever vaccine is expected to be launched in 2019.

Last year, the company sold about 1.5 million flu vaccine doses in Taiwan, taking a 55 percent share of the domestic flu vaccine market. The company expects its market share to fall to about 50 percent this year.

In addition, it anticipates it will be granted permits to sell flu vaccine in China at the end of this year at the earliest.

Adimmune posted NT$290 million in sales last year, but incurred a NT$2.87 net loss per share because of an unsatisfactory capacity utilization rate.

However, on the back of rising production, its capacity utilization rate is expected to range between 70 percent and 80 percent in the second half of this year and it is likely to exceed 90 percent next year, which will improve its bottom line, the company said.

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