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NASDAQ listing expected as F-star Therapeutics announces merger with Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals



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F-star Therapeutics is merging with listed US company Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals.

The combined company is expected to trade on the US technology market NASDAQ and have at least $40million in cash prior to closing.

Eliot Forster, CEO of F-star (39819583)
Eliot Forster, CEO of F-star (39819583)

F-star’s CEO Dr Eliot Forster will become president and CEO of the company, which will use the name F-star Therapeutics and seek to advance a pipeline of multiple clinical-stage immuno-oncology programmes.

The deal has been approved by both boards and F-star’s equity holders and is expected to complete in late 2020, subject to approval from Spring Bank’s shareholders.

The combined company will be headquartered out of F-star’s facilities at Babraham and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr Forster said: “We are truly excited about the opportunity created by this proposed combination to further advance our pipeline of novel tetravalent bispecific antibodies, which we believe will be able to address the limitations of current therapies in the field of immuno-oncology.

“At F-star, we are pioneering a differentiated approach to bispecifics, using a natural human IgG1 antibody format that has already shown early signs of clinical activity, established manufacturing processes and promising safety.

“Currently, only a minority of patients realise long-lasting benefit from immunotherapy, so there remains a significant unmet medical need to develop more effective cancer treatment options.

“We believe this transaction will provide the resources to accelerate F-star’s clinical development and generate stockholder value through a pipeline of novel therapies with the potential to improve the lives of patients with difficult to treat cancers.”

Spring Bank is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, developing novel therapeutics for oncology and inflammatory diseases.

Martin Driscoll, president and CEO of Spring Bank, who will not join the combined company, said: “We believe the combined company’s strong portfolio of multiple clinical-stage immuno-oncology therapeutic programs, near-term milestones, and accomplished oncology development leadership team offer an excellent opportunity to benefit cancer patients, as well as provide the potential for future value creation for Spring Bank stockholders.

“The F-star leadership team has committed to continuing the ongoing clinical trial of SB 11285, an IV-administered STING agonist, as part of its expansive immuno-oncology clinical pipeline.”

F-star, which is privately held, expects to raise additional capital at the closing of the proposed combination to help fund preclinical and clinical immuno-oncology programs, and the new company anticipates “multiple opportunities” to raise non-dilutive capital from existing and future business collaborations over the next two to three years.

Following the completion, current Spring Bank equity holders will own about 38.8 per cent of the combined company, with F-star equity holders owning the remainder.

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