Legend Biotech raised more than $400 million in a Nasdaq IPO on Friday, marking the largest U.S. debut for Chinese drug maker. But Legend’s Wall Street success arrives at an uncertain time for Chinese companies, as a bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing a bill that could force it and scores of other companies off of U.S. exchanges.
Legend, which is headquartered in Nanjing, priced 18.4 million shares at $23 each. Legend’s most advanced treatment, a CAR-T cancer therapy partnered with Johnson & Johnson, demonstrated impressive results in multiple myeloma in data presented last week.
But Legend’s success on Wall Street could be short-lived. Last month, the Senate passed a bill that would bar Chinese companies from listing shares in the U.S. unless their auditors submit to inspection. In order to sell shares in the U.S., companies are required to be audited by firms that get regularly inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, which is a nonprofit watchdog group. For years, China has declined to allow PCAOB to inspect its auditors, but U.S. regulators have been reluctant to delist Chinese companies or prevent IPOs.