Human tissue developer Humacyte to go public via $1.1bn merger with Alpha Healthcare

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Humacyte, a clinical-stage biotech platform company, has agreed to merge with blank check company Alpha Healthcare Acquisition Corp. (AHAC), in a deal that values the combined firm at $1.1 billion.

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Humacyte is focused on developing bioengineered human tissue that can be universally implantable at commercial scale.

Rajiv Shukla – Chairman and CEO of Alpha Healthcare Acquisition said: “Humacyte’s innovative biotechnology platform is aimed at solving intractable medical problems for (1) Patients: potential for lower risk of amputation and tissue rejection, elimination of waiting times, and reduced need for immunosuppression and additional surgeries; (2) Physicians: potential for better clinical outcomes and ease of use; (3) Payors: potential cost savings by avoiding amputations and infections, additional surgeries, medication and re-hospitalizations.”

Following the completion of the merger, Alpha Healthcare Acquisition will be renamed Humacyte and is likely to be listed under the ticker HUMA on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

Humacyte’s current CEO Dr Laura Niklason will be leading the enlarged company.

The deal values Humacyte at a pre-money valuation of $800 million.

It is estimated to provide the enlarged company cash proceeds of up to $255 million. This includes a fully committed private investment in public equity (PIPE) of $175 million and up to $100 million of cash held in the Alpha Healthcare Acquisition trust account, assuming no redemptions.

The PIPE investors include health care investors and thought leaders such as Fresenius Medical Care, OrbiMed, Monashee Investment Management, UBS O’Connor, Alexandria Venture Investments, Morgan Creek Capital, and various undisclosed health care focused funds. Most of the existing investors of Humacyte are also said to have taken part in the PIPE.

Laura Niklason said: “Humacyte is a global leader in developing bioengineered tissues for use in regenerative medicine. We are very pleased to have support from top-tier investors, and access to the U.S. capital markets following the closing of this proposed transaction, which will leave Humacyte well-capitalized to provide first-in-class therapies to treat several life-threatening diseases.

“Our innovative platform has the potential to support tissue repair, reconstruction and replacement without the limitations of existing standards of care. Humacyte’s bioengineered tissues can be produced at commercial scale and, after regulatory approval, are designed to be stored in hospitals and other surgical centers, and immediately available to surgeons whenever needed.”

The deal, which is subject to the approval of the merging companies’ shareholders and other customary conditions, is likely to be wrapped up in Q2 2021.

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