The biotech industry has been booming throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – and although it has slowed down considerably, there are still more PSPCs at work.
Blank check firm BioPlus Acquisition Corp announced last Thursday that it was pricing its IPO increased by 20 million units at $ 10.00 per unit – for $ 200 million.
PSPC started trading on Friday at $ 10.02 under the ticker $ BIOSU.
BioPlus did not go into details of its goals, saying only that it planned to merge with the “Life Sciences Sector,” according to the company’s S-1 filed in July.
SPAC’s “sponsor” – known as BioPlus Sponsor, LLC – owned 100% of the shares available prior to the IPO, or approximately 6.3 million shares. After the offer, the plan was for BioPlus Sponsor to drop to around 5.9 million shares, and much lower in percentage – from 100% to 21%.
And of S-1, the sponsor had three governing members: life sciences lawyer Alan Mendelson, who died earlier this year, Alex Vieux and Steven Fletcher.
Mendelson was a former biopharmaceutical lawyer who served as legal counsel to Amgen and later Blade Therapeutics before his death in October. Vieux owns Red Herring, a mainstream business portal, and Fletcher is a partner of Broken Arrow Holding, a private venture capital firm.
It comes as a late bloomer in the SPAC market – after a massive demonstration from last summer to this year, that market has started to decline. Just a few weeks ago, Flagship’s Valo Health and Khosla Ventures SPAC called off their proposed merger, citing “current market conditions”.
BioPlus, however, bet there is still potential for PSPCs to work. There have been several lucrative examples. Cerevel raised $ 445 million in a SPAC merger last year, and not to be outdone, Ginkgo went public through a SPAC in a merger that raised more than $ 1.6 billion, valuing biotechnology at $ 15 billion.
While this PSPC, led by CEO / CFO Ross Haghighat and Chairman of the Board / CBO Jonathan Rigby, seems quite late in the game, they’re obviously betting there is still some promising biotech to be released.
Haghighat is the CEO of venture capital firm Triton Systems and Rigby is also the CEO of Revolo Biotherapeutics Group, a biotechnology formerly known as Immune Regulation that focuses on autoimmune and allergic diseases.
The underwriters have been granted 45 days under an over-allotment option to purchase up to 3 million additional units.