Center Laboratories Group and Formosa Laboratories are in line for exits as cancer drug developer Tot Biopharm aims to go public.

Tot Biopharm, a China-based oncology therapy developer backed by biopharmaceutical company Center Laboratories Group, has filed for an initial public offering, China Money Network has reported.

The company intends to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but has not yet revealed financial terms for the offering. ICBC has been appointed as underwriter for the proposed offering.

Founded in 2009, Tot Biopharm is working on antibody-drug conjugates, a type of cancer therapy that attacks tumour cells while leaving healthy tissue intact.

The company has more than 10 drug candidates in its pipeline, including a lead asset known as Tab008, a biosimilar of bevacizumab, itself a drug that has been approved in China for the treatment of non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer.

Proceeds from the IPO will fund both current and planned clinical trials for Tab008 as well as the preparation of registration filings and its commercialisation, in addition to preclinical and clinical trials, expanded production facilities and the potential commercialisation of other candidates.

The capital will also fund research and development for additional therapies, including through external licence and collaboration deals, and the bolstering of non-project specific capabilities such as the construction of a new manufacturing facility.

Tot Biopharm received $102m in an August 2018 series B round led by Vivo Capital and backed by Center Laboratories, pharmaceutical ingredient producer Formosa Laboratories and venture capital firm Chengwei Capital.

Pharmaceutical firm TTY Biopharm and Center Laboratories took part in a $33m series A round for Tot Biopharm in 2011 alongside Vaxcel and Vaxgen – both subsidiaries of construction services provider Yuana Construction Development – as well as Prime Success and Yuanta Venture Capital, an investment arm of financial services group Yuanta Financial.

TTY Biopharm sold all its shares as part of the series B round, having initially acquired a stake in Tot Biopharm when the latter was founded in 2009.

Centerlab currently owns a 37.8% stake in the company, including a 1% stake held through subsidiary BioEngine. Its other notable investors include Yuanta (nearly 5.4%), Vivo Capital (19.3%), Prime Success and Chengwei Capital (12% each) and Advantech Capital (10.4%).