Regenerative medicine company Humacyte agreed to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition firm Alpha Healthcare Acquisition Corp. that would create an entity valued around $1.1 billion, the organizations announced Wednesday.
Humacyte develops bioengineered human tissue to treat illnesses like end-stage renal disease, vascular disease, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease as well as repair or replace damaged arteries. After implanting a Humacyte product, patients can regrow their own tissues, which are regenerative and self-healing, Humacyte CEO Dr. Laura Niklason said during an investor presentation.
Investors, including dialysis provider Fresenius Medical Care, committed to a private investment in public equity of $175 million at $10 per share when the deal is expected to close in the second quarter, pending customary regulatory approvals.
"If you look at all these end-market areas, these are huge market opportunities," Alpha Healthcare Chairman and CEO Rajiv Shukla said during the presentation. Humacyte's products could lower the risk of amputation and tissue rejection for patients, boost clinical outcomes and lower costs by avoiding amputations and additional surgeries, he said in prepared remarks.
Humacyte's vascular and non-vascular products in development address markets like coronary artery bypass grafts and Type 1 diabetes, which are collectively valued at an estimated $157.6 billion, according to its investor presentation.
"Humacyte is aiming to grow replacement tissues and ultimately organs so that there is no more waiting to harvest tissues and organs from other individuals or from the patient," Niklason said. "We have also shown already in our clinical trials that we can help patients avoid limb loss and amputations due to their vascular disease."
Humacyte has raised nearly $480 million to date, including a $150 million investment from Fresenius, which uses its bioengineered blood vessels in dialysis and peripheral arterial disease treatments.
Under the terms of the proposed merger that's been approved by both boards, Humacyte's shareholders would receive 80 million shares of AHAC's Class A common in exchange for their existing Humacyte shares, as well as an additional 7.5 million shares depending on how the market responds. Humacyte shareholders will own approximately 73% of the issued and outstanding shares in the new entity.