Wed, May 29, 2019 - Page 12 News List

EirGenix to move to TPEX next month

STEPPING UP:Although it has yet to report a profit, the firm won approval for the move thanks to a 2017 letter from the Industrial Development Bureau

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

EirGenix Inc (台康生技) plans to transfer its listing from the Emerging Stock Board to the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) by the end of next month, chief finance officer Cathy Yang (楊秀權) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

The pharmaceutical company, which is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) and biosimilars maker, started trading its shares on the Emerging Stock Board in November 2016.

It aims to raise NT$600 million (US$19.06 million) through the TPEX debut and would use the proceeds for new drug studies and tests, Yang said.

EirGenix plans to issue 20 million new shares, with the listing price likely set at NT$32, but the final price would depend on the average price on the Emerging Stock Board 30 days before the TPEX listing, Yang added.

It submitted its applications to TPEX in December last year and received approval in March, even though it has yet to turn a profit.

A 2017 recommendation letter from the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) allowed it to circumvent some listing requirements regarding revenue, earnings and cash flow, the company said.

EirGenix reported net losses of NT$368 million for last year, compared with net losses of NT$175 million in 2017, company data showed.

It plans to spend part of money from the TPEX listing for the phase III clinical trials for its breast cancer drug EG12014, chief executive officer Liu Lee-cheng (劉理成) said.

The drug is a biosimilar of trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody sold by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG under the brand name Herceptin, Liu said.

The business potential for EG12014 is huge, as its price would be cheaper than Herceptin, he said, adding that Herceptin’s annual sales last year were 6.98 billion Swiss francs (US$6.94 billion at the current exchange rate).

Herceptin’s patent for Europe expired in 2014, and that for the US is due to expire later this year, which means EG12014 has great potential, he said.

EirGenix has gained regulatory approvals to launch the phase III trials in Taiwan, the US, Georgia, Russia, India and South Korea, and has been meeting with the EU regulator to discuss the trials, Liu said.

“We will invite 800 breast cancer patients to take part in the global clinical trials, and have enrolled 66 so far,” Liu said.

The final-stage trial is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of next year, or the first quarter in 2021, and the company should gain marketing approvals in 2021 or 2022, he said.

EirGenix last month secured a contract with Sandoz AG to provide the EG12014 for the generic pharmaceuticals division of Swiss giant Novartis AG, Liu said.

The deal would generate US$70 million over next few years, including a US$5 million upfront payment and US$65 million milestone payment, he said.

The headline has been corrected since it was first published.

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