Drug developer Alchemia intends to demerge its oncology (cancer) business to form a new company and list it on the United States market.
Alchemia said on Monday that its oncology assets would be held by Audeo Oncology Inc, which will apply for listing on the NASDAQ exchange in the US.
Audeo Oncology intends to undertake an initial public offering of shares in the US, to raise an amount yet to be determined but with a ceiling of $US60 million.
It is intended that shares in Audeo will be dual listed and are expected to trade as Chess Depository Interests (CDIs) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Alchemia will retain the drug fondaparinux, which is a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Arixtra, a synthetic anti-coagulant used to prevent deep vein thrombosis.
The demerger is subject to market conditions and shareholder, court and regulatory approvals.
Alchemia chief executive Dr Peter Smith said fondaparinux would be generating revenue and shareholders would be expecting a dividend or capital return from it.
Equally, Alchemia wanted to position its oncology assets where they would be most appreciated and best positioned for future growth.
“If we’re going to split them up, we might as well go the whole hog and list on NASDAQ at the same time as listing in Australia to give us access to a greater pool of capital for use in the future, and also to establish a footprint for the company in the US which is going to be the biggest market for our product,” Dr Smith said.
Dr Smith said that if the oncology assets were to be expanded, the business needed to be closer to US clinicians and regulators.
“Looking years into the future, we’ll be building up more of a footprint in the US,” he said.
“In terms of the R&D (research and development) taking place in Australia, we’ll also see that added to, as well.”
Shares in Alchemia were up 4.5 cents, or nine per cent, at 54.5 cents on Monday.