2696.HK

The latest: Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc. (2696.HK) reported its revenue soared 97.2% to 996 million yuan ($145 million) in the first quarter, according to a business update released on Sunday.

Looking up: Domestic sales for the company’s Hanquyou, China’s first domestically developed trastuzumab cancer drug, rose 66.7% to 539 million yuan in the first quarter. The company’s Hansizhuang, which began sales in March last year, recorded sales of 250 million for the period, breaking the 100 million yuan mark in March, its first time above that level.

Take Note: Henlius has five products on the market in China, but the above two accounted for nearly 80% of overall revenue, reflecting the relative weakness of the other three products.

Digging Deeper: Founded in 2010, Henlius is a biopharmaceutical company owned by Fosun Pharma (2196.HK; 600196.SH), one of China’s leading private drug makers. The company debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019 and made a major breakthrough the same year when it attained approval for China’s first biosimilar, rituximab, for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Henlius had five approved products by the end of last year, leading to significant revenue growth in recent years. But the company is still in the red due to high R&D and sales expenses, and has accumulated more than 4 billion yuan in losses over the past five years.

Market Reaction: Henlius shares jumped 13.1% in early trading on Monday, but later gave back some of those gains and closed up 8.2% at HK$14.5 by the midday break. It now trades in the middle of its 52-week range.

Translation by Jony Ho

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