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Vaccine developer SK Bioscience plans 2021 IPO

NH Investment & Securities, Korea Investment & Securities selected as underwriters

July 26, 2020 - 14:35 By Lim Jeong-yeo
SK Bioscience
SK Group is pushing for another initial public offering of its health care affiliate SK Bioscience, just a month after SK Biopharmaceuticals’ record-breaking stock market entry last month.

SK Bioscience, a vaccine developer that was spun-off from SK Chemical in July 2018, will reportedly file for listing next year.

Both NHIS and KIS were underwriters responsible for the blockbuster IPO of SK Biopharmaceuticals, a drug company that specializes in research and development of treatments for central nervous system disorders.

SK Biopharmaceuticals shares were 323 times oversubscribed, buoyed by the fact that it already has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for solriamfetol and cenobamate.

SK Bioscience is a vaccines research and manufacturing business that is pursuing COVID-19 vaccines research under a state-run project.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded $3.6 million for SK Bioscience’s efforts to peg an optimal antigen for COVID-19.

On top of its own research, SK Bioscience recently signed contract with AstraZeneca to contract manufacture the latter’s COVID-19 vaccines in Korea upon successful completion of development.

SK Bioscience has experience in successful development of cell-cultured flu vaccine, cervical cancer vaccine and pediatric enteritis vaccine. It also has its own good manufacturing practice-abiding facility.

A company official said that SK Bioscience’s IPO will be carried out if it receives a “fair evaluation of its corporate value.”

SK Bioscience is 98.04 percent owned by SK Chemical, which is 33.47 percent owned by SK Discovery, which is 40.18 percent owned by SK Discovery Vice Chairman Chey Chang-won.

Chey Chang-won is a cousin of SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who has 18.44 percent stake in SK Holdings.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (