ASX stocks in America: Opthea’s about to join the ranks but who’s there already?
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More than a dozen ASX stocks, mostly in healthcare, are dual-listed in America.
Another ASX stock is about to join the club – biotech Opthea (ASX:OPT).
Opthea has been one of the ASX’s most successful biotechs in the past couple of years with its drug passing two major Phase II clinical trials against different types of macular degeneration.
Opthea wants to conduct larger Phase III clinical trials for both diseases. While these would take at least a couple more years, the company has also been eyeing its commercialisation options and inevitably listing in the US would form part of this.
The company is seeking to raise US$128.2 million ($180.66 million) as part of the deal. It has previously declined to comment to Stockhead about its US IPO.
Securities are being sold as “American Depositary Shares” (ADS). These work similar to CDIs (Chess Depositary Interests) – which is how many US companies listed on the ASX sell their shares here.
Both ADS and CDIs allow investors from outside the company’s home country to invest in the company while easing the red tape that would otherwise be required.
Opthea shares fell 14 per cent this morning and are down 30 per cent in the last year.
But are up 300 per cent in two years with the company’s post-wet-AMD trial surge occurring in the three months after the announcement.
There are about a dozen ASX stocks in America listing on the main exchanges and several dozens more on Over the Counter (OTC) markets.
The vast majority of the former category are biotech stocks, many of which are trying to make it in the world’s largest healthcare markets.
The largest of these is $1.9 billion stem cell stock Mesoblast (ASX:MSB). The company is running several clinical programs in the US, particularly for its remestemcel-L against graft versus host disease (GHVD) and ARDS as a result of COVID-19.
While it plunged earlier this month when the FDA ordered it to conduct another trial for the former disease when investors hoped to receive approval; it surpassed 50 per cent enrolment for its ARDs clinical trial.
Avita listed on the NASDAQ earlier this year and unlike other ASX stocks listed in America it opted to make Wall Street its primary listing.
It argued with its focus on the US and lack of a physical presence elsewhere, it would save compliance costs and support its visibility among US investors.
Piedmont was already unique, being one of the few ASX stocks with a project in America but last month won a contract with Tesla – leading to shares quadrupling in a matter of days.