U.S.-based Avellino Labs that develops gene therapy and molecular diagnostics for eye care is preparing to go public on Korea’s secondary Kosdaq bourse, in what would be the second U.S. bio stock to trade in Korea.
According to Avellino Labs on Monday, the company is planning a pre-IPO deal by issuing new shares worth 15 billion won ($13.5 million) to Korean institutional investors to raise capital to file for an investigational new drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the second half of this year. It will apply for a preliminary review for its initial public offering (IPO) in the Kosdaq within this year.
Samsung Securities was chosen as one of its underwriters. Other details of its IPO plan were not disclosed yet.
Once cleared, Avellino Labs would become the second U.S.-based bio-tech company to be listed on the Korean bourse after Tissuegene Inc. that made a debut on the Korean bourse in November last year.
Avellino Labs is a Silicon Valley-based bio-tech company that introduced the world’s first commercial DNA test for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) safety in 2008. Its DNA test has become a standard of care for screening refractive surgery patients across the world. Last year, it launched a keratoconus screening test to predict elevated risk for inherited keratoconus.
The company has operations in Korea, Japan, China and the U.K.
By Cho Hee-young and Lee Ha-yeon
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