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Chinese COVID-19 vaccine firm Clover falls on trading debut

By Reuters

BEIJING – Shares of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developer Clover Biopharmaceuticals Ltd fell as much as 8.7% on its Hong Kong trading debut on Friday after raising a net $240 million in its initial public offering (IPO).

The loss-making firm has no product on sale yet, but has several drugs and vaccines in the pipeline including a COVID-19 vaccine candidate which showed a 67% efficacy against the disease and 79% efficacy against the Delta variant in a large, late-stage global trial.

It plans to apply for regulatory approval of the vaccine in China, Europe and with the World Health Organization in the fourth quarter, the company said in September.

Shares in Clover fell as low as HK$12.22 on Friday, down 8.7% from its HK$13.38 IPO offer price, and traded down 4.8% at 0700 GMT. That compared to 1.4% slide in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Although Clover has obtained a deal to supply up to 414 million doses of the vaccine through the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX, Zhongtai International Securities analyst Albert Yu said it remains unclear when it would return a profit.

Clover, which reported a total loss of 912.9 million yuan ($142.63 million) in 2020, said the majority of the IPO proceeds would be used in the research, production and commercialisation of its core products.

($1 = 6.4006 Chinese yuan renminbi)