UPDATE : Monday, September 7, 2020
2 developers of Covid-19 test kits prepare IPO in September
  • By Kim Chan-hyuk
  • Published 2020.08.31 13:53
  • Updated 2020.08.31 13:53
  • comments 0

Two domestic developers of Covid-19 diagnostic kits are preparing to go public in September, raising investors’ attention amid the resurgence of Covid-19. However, industry officials cautioned against excessive expectations for their performances, citing the severe market competition.

MiCo BioMed seeks a market debut on the Konex, an exchange for SMEs and venture firms. The company plans to estimate demands from institutional investors on Sept. 3-4 and offer subscription on Sept. 10-11. The company plans to issue 2.5 million shares, hoping to set the issue price between 12,000 won ($10.15) and 15,000 won.

Founded in 2009, MiCo BioMed passed the Korea Exchange’s preliminary review for listing in July. The company develops Covid-19 test kits based on two techniques -- polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid diagnostic test. It also sells test kits for anemia and blood glucose. The company’s annual revenue recorded 4 billion won last year.

Aptamer Sciences, another Covid-19 test kit maker, will gauge demands from institutional investors on Sept. 21-22 and offer subscription on Sept. 25-28.

Eastablished in 2011, Aptamer Sciences tried to list on the Kosdaq market in March but withdrew the plan because the Covid-19 outbreak dampened the IPO outlook.

In September, the company will issue 1.3 million shares, hoping that the issue price will be set between 20,000 won and 25,000 won. The price range is up by 2,000 won from the 18,000-23,000 won set in March.

Aptamer Sciences said in March that the company and a POSTECH research team developed a Covid-19 diagnostic technique using an aptamer (nucleic acid substance), a type of molecular capture. The company posted 400 million won in annual sales last year.

Investors are expecting a rapid growth of Covid-19 test kit makers amid the prolonged Covid-19 crisis but they should make investment decisions based on the market competition outlook and technology development status, industry officials said.

Before offering subscriptions, Mico BioMed said in a public filing that many developers worldwide are intensely competing to secure the in vitro diagnostic kit market and the technologies are rapidly advancing.

“If we fail to make up for our weakness in brand recognition and funding ability, in competition against global competitors, our growth potential and profitability may be limited,” the company said.


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