Wed, Dec 12, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Taiwan Liposome may raise US$20m from IPO

LOOKING UP:Analysts expect the biopharmaceutical company to swing into profit next year on the back of milestone payments and royalties on product sales

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Liposome Co (台灣微脂體) is expected to raise NT$591.36 million (US$20.31 million) from its initial public offering (IPO) on Friday next week, with the firm planning to use the proceeds to improve its gross margin and strengthen its bottom line.

The biopharmaceutical company, headquartered in Taipei’s Nangang Software Park (南港軟體園區), plans to issue 4.62 million new shares on its the GRETAI Securities Market debut and has tentatively set the IPO price at NT$128, the company said.

On Monday, Taiwan Liposome began book building for institutional investors after receiving regulatory approval. The book building, whereby institutional investors make bids for the stock on offer, ends on Thurday, the company said.

Taiwan Liposome currently trades on the smaller Emerging Stock Market, a preparatory board for the nation’s two main bourses. Its shares closed 1.64 percent higher yesterday at NT$279.50, rising 288.9 percent so far this year, according to stock exchange data.

The company reported a net income of NT$24.3 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.62, in the third quarter, after posting a net loss of NT$40.69 million, or a net loss per share of NT$1.04 per share, in the first half of the year.

In the first three quarters of the year, Taiwan Liposome posted a net loss of NT$16.34 million, or loss per share of NT$0.42, much lower than a net loss of NT$137.43 million, or NT$5.11 per share, a year earlier, company data showed.

During the first 11 months of the year, sales surged 210.7 percent to NT$233.195 million from NT$75.048 million a year ago, the company said on Monday.

Analysts say the company is likely to swing into profit next year on the back of certain milestone payments and royalties on product sales. Taiwan Liposome reported a net loss of NT$216.99 million last year, NT$190.21 million in 2010 and NT$184.07 million in 2009.

Established in 1997, Taiwan Liposome focuses on the research and development of pharmaceutical products based on its proprietary drug delivery technologies.

“Traditionally, drugs are transmitted via blood, and the amount of drugs that can reach infected organs is little,” Taiwan Liposome president George Yeh (葉志鴻) said at a pre-IPO conference for investors on Nov. 28.

“We use lipid-based formulation that delivers the drug to infected body parts and releases the drug there, creating better efficacy and lower toxicity for the drugs,” Yeh said.

Lipid-based formulations can also be used to control the amount of drugs released in a given period of time, prolonging the product lifecycle of drugs.

In the past few years, Taiwan Liposome has developed drugs used to treat breast cancer and ovarian cancer, such as Lipo-Dox and Doxisome, as well as ProFlow, a drug used to treat peripheral vascular disease. The company is expected to invest NT$1.15 billion into new drug development from this year through 2016.

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