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Hong Kong

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State Path and Bell Potter mull Bionic Vision pre-IPO raise

Jul 1, 2019

Key Points Bionic Vision Technologies plans to IPO in the next 12 months on the Australian Securities Exchange, which may have a post-float value of between $120 million and $170 million. BVT will be looking to raise about $50 million from investors, and State Path will remain a major shareholder, along with medical device maker Cochlear. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a debilitating genetic disorder that leads to loss of vision and is the leading cause of inherited blindness. There is currently no cure. EXCLUSIVE | Hong Kong-based investment firm State Path Capital is in talks with Bell Potter about a pre-IPO fund raising, and is on the hunt for a cornerstone investor for its bionic eye group. The company has held talks with multiple medical device and pharma companies, however, ASX-listed Cochlear is the most likely candidate given its long-established relationship with Bionic Vision Technologies, and is already it's manufacturing partner. State Path is headed by executive director Alan Kwan and chaired by Alastair Lam, the nephew of Hong Kong's richest person Li Ka-shing whose net worth is valued at nearly $US30 billion, according to Forbes. The men invested $US18 million ($25 million) along with China Huarong International Holdings in 2017, in the medical device company,  which enabled BVT to accelerate development and clinical studies. Mr Kwan told The Australian Financial Review BVT plans to publicly list in the next 12 months on the ASX, and may have a post-float value of between $120 million and  $170 million. It's seeking to raise about $50 million from investors, and State Path will remain a major shareholder. State Path Capital executive director Alan Kwan with a Bionic Eye. . Supplied Advertisement BVT was set up in 2010 after the Rudd government injected $50 million into the company in a bid to create another Australian success story like the $12 billion Cochlear, which makes implantable hearing devices. A new CEO, Ash Attia, who previously worked for one of the world ‘s largest medical device transplant companies, will take the top job later in July. Two other key hires include chief scientific officer Brian Gordon, who held senior engineering roles at Cochlear, and chief operating officer Adrian Oates, who was previously at Cochlear and Universal Bio Sensors. Mabel Chu – former managing director of Horizons Ventures and a current director at Hong Kong-listed Bosa Technology Holdings – will also join the BVT board. Mr Kwan has already had success with other Australian innovations, building technology company Bosa which floated in Hong Kong and has delivered 500 per cent return to investors at its current market value. “This is our investment strategy," Mr Kwan said. "We identify robust IP. We look at where we have connections and really work out a way to commercialise it. Bosa is one example of an Australian inventor coming up with remarkable technology that disrupts the standard practice in civil engineering." Bosa has won multiple contracts in China and Hong Kong and is a key part of new mass transit railway projects and bridges such as the link from Macau to the mainland. "That is one journey and that is what we want to replicate," he added. Mr Kwan is firmly focused on planning for future pivotal trials, gaining regulatory approvals and the commercial release of its bionic eye. He is looking to leverage the relationship with one of China’s largest healthcare big data companies, Yidu Cloud Technologies. Yidu Cloud conducts contract research and has also signed a deal with the National Medical Products Administration (China's drug approvals agency), to run a clinical trial platform. “Big data is driving all the outcome measures," Mr Kwan said. "With [retinitis pigmentosa] – you can see what treatment they are having and what progress the disease is and what treatments they are having and whether they are amenable to retinal prosthetic implants.'' Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a debilitating genetic disorder that leads to loss of vision. It affects about one in every 4000 people, affecting 1.5 million people worldwide. It is the leading cause of inherited blindness. There is currently no cure. “With this technology we would like to enter the China market and it's obviously advantageous when you can identify the patients and can streamline the clinical trial process. I think BVT will be an early beneficiary of this partnership,” Mr Kwan said. He is hopeful of gaining a special fast-track approval process for innovative medical devices, known as “green channel” in China. This can reduce clinical trial time to prove the safety profile to just a 50-day process – slashing years off the time to market. “We have had great success with our last clinical trial," he said. "We are moving to our pivotal trial. We are hoping China will be a leading market given there are 1 million people suffer of RP." BVT is the leading company in the retinal implant field with a competitor, Second Sight, recently pulling out of the retinal implant market. The first of BVT's two products entered clinical trials in early 2018 and is expected to be on the market within three to four years. Share

State Path Capital Investments

1 Investments

State Path Capital has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in Bionic Vision Technology as part of their Unattributed on April 4, 2017.

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State Path Capital Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

4/3/2017

Unattributed

Bionic Vision Technology

$18M

Yes

6

Date

4/3/2017

Round

Unattributed

Company

Bionic Vision Technology

Amount

$18M

New?

Yes

Co-Investors

Sources

6

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