CHA Vaccine sets ambitious targets ahead of IPO

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CHA Vaccine sets ambitious targets ahead of IPO

Yum Jung-sun, CEO of CHA Vaccine Institute, speaks about the company’s future goals during an online briefing Tuesday ahead of its initial public offering scheduled for later this month. [CHA VACCINE INSTITUTE]

Yum Jung-sun, CEO of CHA Vaccine Institute, speaks about the company’s future goals during an online briefing Tuesday ahead of its initial public offering scheduled for later this month. [CHA VACCINE INSTITUTE]

 
CHA Vaccine Institute hopes to be the world’s first bio company to release therapeutic vaccine for chronic hepatitis B.
 
It is just one of the ambitious plans the Korean vaccine maker offered up during an online briefing held Tuesday ahead of its initial public offering (IPO), scheduled for later this month.
 
CHA Vaccine Institute has four vaccines in clinical trial, “but will increase the number to eight by 2026,” Yum Jung-sun, CEO of CHA Vaccine Institute, said during the briefing.
 
Established in 2000, the Seongnam, Gyeonggi-based biotechnology company conducts research and develops a broad range of vaccine and treatment products targeting infectious and chronic diseases. CHA Biotech owns 45.95 percent of the company.
 
CHA Vaccine Institute’s candidates include therapeutic vaccines for chronic hepatitis B, herpes zoster and influenza.  
 
In case of chronic hepatitis B, there’s no cure to date. If the country succeeds in commercializing its candidate, CVI-HBV-002, it will be the such vaccine in world. The therapeutic vaccine candidate is currently undergoing Phase 2 clinical trials locally, including at Seoul National University Hospital.
 
The company also owns two immunity enhancement technologies that can enhance the efficacy of a vaccine: Adjuvant L-pampo and Lipo-pam. L-pampo is an immune stimulating adjuvant technology that enhances the immune system by targeting TLR2 and TLR3 receptors of antigen-presenting cells that play an important role in immune response. Lipo-pam is a delivery technology for particle formulation.
 
They are about 100 times more effective in forming antibodies than existing technologies, the bio company said. They are also helpful in activating immune cells like T cells to directly attack viruses.
 
In March, CHA Vaccine Institute signed a 203 billion won ($170.8 million) licensing deal with Gangnam-based Aston Sci. for the technology transfer of L-pampo.
 
CHA Vaccine Institute plans to offer 3,950,000 shares at between 11,000 won and 15,000 won each in the IPO. If the upper end of the range is hit, 59.3 billion won of stock will be sold.
 
The successful IPO will make CHA Vaccine Institute a company with market capitalization of between 290.7 billion won and 396.4 billion won.
 
Public subscription will take place on Oct. 12 and 13, and Samsung Securities is the main underwriter for the IPO. Its debut on the Kosdaq market is scheduled for Oct. 22.
 
“If CHA Vaccine Institute’s reliability and awareness increase through the IPO, we anticipate that we could be in more advantageous position when signing licensing deals with foreign companies,” CEO Yum said. “CHA Vaccine Institute will grow as a global company that develops vaccines and treatments for not only infectious diseases but also various diseases such as chronic illness and cancer.”
 
The vaccine maker reported a 6.24-billion-won net loss in 2020 and a 3-billion-won net loss in 2019. It said it is optimistic about achieving profitability in 2023.

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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