Cancer screening firm New Horizon raises $263 million in Hong Kong IPO

Business & Technology

China’s leading early cancer screening biotech firm New Horizon nearly tripled on its IPO day in Hong Kong. The company makes China’s first and only approved early cancer screening test kits.

New Horizon’s at-home colorectal cancer testing kit - Pupu Tube. Screenshot from New Horizon Health Website.

Chinese cancer screening biotech company New Horizon Health raised $263 million in an IPO in Hong Kong today. The company’s stock price almost tripled to HK$84 ($10.83) by the end of trading. 

New Horizon makes China’s first and only approved early cancer screening test products. Its two commercialized test kit products, Pupu Tube and ColoClear, help to detect colorectal cancer, the third-most-common cancer in China and a leading cause of the country’s cancer deaths. 

  • The at-home early cancer screening test kit, Pupu Tube, allows patients to detect blood in their stool. A positive result can be an indication of colorectal cancer. Pupu Tube is priced at 99 yuan ($15), three-fifths the price of a similar test kit product in the U.S. on Amazon, which is sold at $24.99.
  • ColoClear, approved last November, offers more detailed screening by analyzing various cancer indicators in patients’ stool. Patients collect the stool samples at home using New Horizon’s testing tube and mail them to New Horizon’s lab. The service is now priced at 1,996 yuan ($308). 

Boosting the cancer screening rate is a key government priority and a part of China’s national healthcare guideline, known as Healthy China 2030

  • About 3 million Chinese died from cancer in 2020, with lung cancer as the leading cause, contributing to nearly one-fifth of the deaths. Other common cancers include stomach, colorectal, liver, cervical, breast, and esophageal cancers. 
  • China has set the goal to raise the early screening rate of high-instance cancers in high-risk areas to 55% by 2022, according to an action plan (in Chinese) issued by the Ministry of Health in 2019. 

With the cash infusion from the IPO, New Horizon plans to expand markets for the two approved products and develop cancer screening products for stomach, cervical and other cancer types. 

  • Promoting the idea of regular screenings is also key: “In the next three to five years, we will focus on educating the professional market, like hospitals, physicians, and doctors,” New Horizon’s CEO, Zhū Yèqīng 朱叶青, said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday. 
  • Zhu founded New Horizon in 2013 (in Chinese) after a visit to Silicon Valley, where he met with two of his former classmates from Peking University’s School of Life Sciences who later joined him at New Horizon.