Hong Kong-invested Maxx Bioscience Technology is seeking to raise about HK$300 million through an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock market by the middle of next year. The biotechnology project incubator said it would help overseas biotechnology companies that did not have sufficient resources and confidence about intellectual property rights to enter the mainland market. Founder Kitty Lo said the company would play a policing role to protect the biotech firms' intellectual property rights. Maxx would help foreign firms secure recognition by mainland authorities for their research results by carrying out research and development and clinical trials in the country. Ms Lo said the market potential lay with the expected emergence of biomedicine, recombinant DNA drugs and genetic re-engineering drugs. The company would first assist foreign firms search for partners in mainland research institutes and universities, for research and development and clinical trials. The semi-finished or finished projects would then be put into trial production in drug plants in Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore. The company is negotiating the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in drug plant operator Hong Kong Institute of Biotechnology (HKIB). HKIB is partly funded by the Innovative Technology Fund of the SAR Government and its assets and land are donated by the Jockey Club and Chinese University of Hong Kong. Maxx will try to generate revenue by licensing out incubated projects to pharmaceutical firms, which can then sell final products to the mainland. The company is targeting revenue of US$30 million by 2003 from the licensing.