The Korea Exchange (KRX) will review and decide on whether to delist Kolon Tissugene, SillaJen, and Qurient in October, as the three companies have submitted all the details of the implementation of improvement plans. The three companies had received a grace period from the KRX to improve their business structure.

The Korea Exchange will decide whether to delist  Kolon Tissugene, SillaJen, Qurient in October
The Korea Exchange will decide whether to delist Kolon Tissugene, SillaJen, Qurient in October

Kolon TissueGene was the most recent company to submit a statement of implementation of the improvement plan, following the end of the improvement period on Aug. 31.

The KRX will hold a corporate review committee to decide whether to delist Kolon TissueGene on Oct. 25.

The KRX designated TissueGene as a subject for listing eligibility review in July 2020 due to the company’s receiving of an "inappropriate" audit opinion for the fiscal year of 2019 and the first half of 2020.

However, the KRX decided to give Kolon TissueGene a one-year grace period to improve its management after holding a review committee meeting on Sept. 1, 2021.

Kolon TissueGene has high expectations that the KRX will resume trading of the company's shares on the back of positive news, including funding and resumption of clinical trials.

Kolon TissueGene resumed the U.S. phase 3 study of Invossa K, a cell-gene therapy for osteoarthritis, in the U.S. in 2021 and has carried out two large-scale rights offerings to raise 74.3 billion won ($51.8 million) through its parent company, Kolon, and its largest shareholder, Kolon Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeol.

TissueGene has also raised an additional 33 billion won through the issuance of convertible bonds on Sept. 1.

However, as the KRX is also reviewing the delisting of Kolon TissueGene regarding the suspension of U.S. clinical trials and cancellation of sales approval in Korea for Invossa K, the company will have to wait for the decision for both reviews before resuming trading.

Qurient, which will receive the KRX's deliberation first on Oct. 11, is currently suspended from trading on the Kosdaq market after the KRX designated the company as a subject for listing eligibility review in May of last year because the firm failed to meet the minimum sales requirement. The KRX granted an improvement period of one year.

To resolve the issue, the drugmaker acquired medical supply distribution company H-Pharm last year and recorded 4.3 billion won in sales and an operating loss of 12.2 billion won in the first half of this year.

SillaJen, which was given a six-month improvement period, also has high hopes that the KRX will decide to resume trading for its shares on Oct. 12.

During the improvement period, SillaJen made efforts to secure new pipelines and appointed a new CEO to meet the KRX's request to diversify the company's pipeline and fill all internal directors with biopharmaceutical-related people.

Meanwhile, with the exception of Qurient, SillaJen and Kolon TissueGene have been suspended from trading for about two and three years, respectively. Due to the long trade suspension, retail investors of SillaJen and Kolon TissueGene are eagerly waiting for the KRX's deliberation and are hoping that the KRX will decide to resume trading for the two companies' shares.

Retail investors hold a large percentage of shares for both SillaJen and Kolon TissueGene.

SillaJen has about 160,000 retail investors, with minority shareholders holding more than 90 percent of the company's total shares, and TissueGene has about 64,000 minority shareholders, holding a combined 34.48 percent stake in the company.

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