Harneys advises Laekna Inc. on its Hong Kong IPO
Harneys acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Laekna Inc. on its Hong Kong initial public offering, with an offering size of HK$790 million (approximately US$101 million). Its shares were listed and commenced trading on 29 June 2023.
Founded in 2016, Laekna is a science-driven, clinical-stage biotechnology company. Its drug discovery primarily focusses on identifying innovative immunology therapies for cancer and liver fibrosis, and it owns almost 180 patents and patent applications. Funds raised will be used to advance the clinical development and approval of core products LAE001 and LAE002, both licensed from well-known Swiss drug maker Novartis, with the latter having gone through clinical trials with multinational drug giant GlaxoSmithKline.
Counsel Jessie Xu led the Harneys team based out of our Shanghai office, supported by Partner Calamus Huang. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP provided Hong Kong and US legal advice and Jingtian & Gongcheng acted as PRC counsel to Laekna. Cooley HK and Commerce & Finance Law Offices acted as Hong Kong and US counsel and PRC counsel respectively to the sole sponsor and the underwriters.
The team closed three other Hong Kong IPOs over the past month, including Chinese IT service provider Edianyun Limited in late May 2023, and Chinese pharma firm Cutia Therapeutics in mid-June 2023 and Chinese digital pharmaceutical platform YSB Inc. earlier in the week.
Jessie commented: “We are delighted to have acted for Laekna on their IPO as they look to provide more effective, science-proven solutions to cancer patients, by working with other pharmaceutical industry leaders. We wish them every success in their upcoming business initiatives.”
Calamus said: “This is the fourth successful Hong Kong listing our Shanghai team has advised on over the past month. I am very proud of the team for this extraordinary achievement, which further strengthened our leading position in Hong Kong listings.”
The Corporate team at Harneys advises on complex cross-border transactions involving the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Cyprus corporate vehicles. The team’s significant track record includes advising on high-profile private equity transactions, landmark IPOs, public and private M&A, and joint ventures. The firm’s expertise lies in advising entities listed or listing on all major stock exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange, AIM, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.