Gemini Therapeutics Hits the Nasdaq Following SPAC Merger
Gemini Chief Executive Officer Jason Meyenburg pictured above. Photo courtesy of Gemini.
Gemini Therapeutics is now trading on the Nasdaq Exchange following its merger with FS Development Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by Foresite Capital. The combined company will be called Gemini Therapeutics, Inc. and will trade under the ticker symbol GMTX.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Gemini is one of the latest companies to get in on the SPAC craze.
Last year, there was a 250% increase in SPAC mergers, which typically provide a quicker pathway to the stock market than a traditional initial public offering. The SPAC deal was first struck in October. FSDC was created by Foresite Capital for the purpose of this deal.
Gemini raised approximately $216 million through this offering, a combination of funds held in FSDC’s trust account and the concurrent private investment in public equity (PIPE). Investors include Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Wellington Management, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, Alyeska Investment Group, L.P., Suvretta Capital Management, CVF, DAFNA Capital, and Acorn Bioventures.
Funds from the SPAC merger will be used in part to advance Gemini’s lead program, GEM103, a potential treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The treatment targets a genetically-defined subset of age-related macular degeneration patients with complement dysregulation.
The company believes that when delivered by intravitreal injection, GEM103 has the potential to address unmet medical need in genetically-defined subsets of AMD patients by circumventing dysfunctional CFH loss-of-function variants and slowing the progression of their retinal disease. Approximately 40% of AMD patients, about 6 million, have variants in the complement factor H (CFH) gene. Such loss-of-function variants are associated with increased dry AMD disease risk. GEM103 is believed to be the first ever recombinant native complement modulator, full-length recombinant complement factor H (rCFH) protein, the company said.
In January, GEM103 was granted Fast Track Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. An ongoing Phase IIa study, dubbed ReGAtta, is evaluating GEM103 in patients with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to dry AMD. The Fast Track award followed positive Phase I data posted in November. In addition to meeting safety standards, results showed visual acuity was generally maintained or improved in the majority of patients with advanced central GA. Additionally, the study demonstrated that dose-dependent supraphysiological levels of CFH were achieved, and AH biomarker changes following GEM103 administration support the mechanism of action of GEM103.
Last week, Gemini initiated a Phase IIa study with GEM103 as a potential add-on therapy for patients suffering from wet AMD who have, or may be at risk for, macular atrophy (MA) but require ongoing anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatment. Topline data is expected in the second half of 2021.
Gemini Chief Executive Officer Jason Meyenburg said he was excited about the SPAC merger that has allowed the company to enter the capital market. The funds will help the company remain a leading-edge precision medicine company focused on pioneering first-in-class medicines intended to restore regulation of the complement system in the eye and throughout the body, Meyenburg said in a statement.
“I want to thank all those involved in making this transaction a success, including our new and existing investors, and the Gemini and FSDC teams,” Meyenburg added.
Jim Tananbaum, CEO of Foresite Capital and FS Development Corp., touted the work conducted by Gemini in AMD and said that was the reason he knew the company was the “right candidate to merge with FSDC.” The merger provides more potential to help further develop innovative, new treatment options for patients, Tananbaum said.