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November 17, 2019

High hopes on biopharma firm Vivozon drive record liquidity in OTC market

PUBLISHED : November 05, 2019 - 17:41

UPDATED : November 05, 2019 - 17:56

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Anticipations for South Korea’s privately-held biopharmaceutical company Vivozon are boosting the trading volume on the over-the-counter bourse -- dedicated to unlisted stocks -- to its record parade.

According to the Korea Financial Investment Association, an operator of K-OTC, its intraday market liquidity hit an all-time high on Nov. 5 at 15.8 billion won ($13.7 million), a week after the market trading volume set record for 14.8 billion on Oct. 28.

Of the total liquidity. 5, 92.2 percent generated solely from trading of Vivozon stocks, a Seoul-based developer of nonnarcotic painkiller.

Related:
Vivozon plans to go public this year
S. Korea’s OTC stock market tops W2tr in transaction volume


This is attributable to a bull parade of Vivozon, seeing its share price hike by 2.4 times over the past 10 trading days. On Nov. 5, Vivozon shares surged 27.8 percent. Its market cap reached 1.6 trillion won.

Founded in 2008 by CEO Doo Lee, an ex-scientist of Amgen and Johnson & Johnson, Vivozon is looking to announce the results of its US phase 3 clinical trials of VVZ-149 in December. The treatment, also known as opiranserin, is an analgesic treatment during and after surgery that is expected to lower side effects from opioid painkillers if replaced.

Major shareholders of Vivozon include Telcon RF Pharmaceuticals, which owns 23 percent stake, and CEO Lee, with 18.05 percent ownership. Small shareholders hold a combined 44.2 percent stake as of end-June.

Vivozon stopped short of gaining Korea Exchange’s preliminary approval for listing in June due to unmet technological standards.

K-OTC is trading shares of some 136 companies, whose total market cap reaches 14.9 trillion won.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)

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