Peak Bio to Go Public in Merger with Ignyte Acquisition SPAC
April 29, 2022
Peak Bio, a privately-held clinical-stage biotech focused on developing the next-generation of therapeutics to treat oncology and inflammatory diseases, and Ignyte Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC, have entered into a definitive business combination agreement that will result in Peak Bio becoming a publicly traded company valued at $278 million.
A group of healthcare investors including existing Peak Bio stockholders and Palo Alto Investors have committed to participate in the transaction through a $25 million common stock PIPE at a purchase price of $10.00 per share. Gross proceeds of the transaction available to the combined company at closing will approximate $82.5 million (assuming no redemptions from Ignyte’s trust account and before transaction expenses).
The transaction, which has been approved by both boards of directors and Peak Bio’s shareholders, is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022. At that time, Ignyte will be renamed Peak Bio and will be led by Hoyoung Huh as CEO of Peak Bio. The combined company expects to list its stock on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “PKBO.”
PHP-303 is a fifth generation best-in-class neutrophil elastase (NE) inhibitor, an oral small molecule that addresses toxicity and efficacy shortfalls from previous generation NE inhibitors by inhibiting the bioactive form of the enzyme. It is ready to be studied in a phase 2 trial in the rare disease Alpha1 anti-trypsin deficiency (AATD), with interim safety results expected by the end of 2023. The company has been successful at safely delivering a higher dose of PHP-303 in patients after single-ascending dose (SAD) and multiple-ascending dose (MAD) phase 1 trials demonstrating dose-dependent pharmacokinetics and achieving preclinical recommended phase 2 dose.
The company’s pipeline also includes an antibody drug conjugate platform focused on developing therapies for oncology indications.
Proceeds from the PIPE and merger transaction are expected to provide Peak Bio with capital to further develop its clinical-stage programs and ADC platform technology, including initiating and funding the phase 2 AATD Adaptive Design study in 2022 with a data readout expected in the first half of 2024; submitting a proposal to DoD for a phase 2 grant of PHP-303 in ARDS and an IND submission in the first half of 2023; funding ADC toxin studies in lead program targeting Trop2 and moving toward an IND submission in the second half of 2023 and phase 1a initiation in 2024; and conducting research and development to identify new ADC toxins.
“We believe we will have several near-term catalysts that can be achieved with our cash at closing,” said Hoyoung Huh, CEO of Peak Bio. “Much of our work is the culmination of our efforts at our Korean and U.S. research sites that captured the best of pan pacific financing alternatives, diverse and highly talented scientific acumen, all the while creating a novel mechanism to bring valuable assets to bear into the U.S. NASDAQ market.”
Author: Rare Daily Staff
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