Genetown's EQRx Joins SPAC Parade, Debuts on Nasdaq

EQRx_Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty

EQRxs Alexis Borisy and Melanie Nallicheri pose for a portrait inside their office in Cambridge, MA. (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

EQRx, which launched last year with a mission to deliver affordable drugs to patients, is heading to the Nasdaq Exchange following a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. The deal will give EQRx a pre-transaction enterprise value of $3.65 billion, the company announced this morning.

EQRx will merge with CM Life Sciences III, Inc., a SPAC company backed by Casdin Capital, LLC and Corvex Management LP. The financing from the merger provides the company with an immediate $1.8 billion in cash that will be used to advance the development of the company’s pipeline. 

Alexis Borisy, chairman and chief executive officer of EQRx touted his excitement about the merger with the SPAC. Borisy said he is excited to partner with investors who “recognize the opportunity for change in our industry.” The company aims to discover and develop new medications that are priced for access and accessibility by patients. It also intends to use market-based solutions to price the drugs it eventually offers. 

The company has a pipeline of more than ten programs, including oncology products showing promising Phase III data. In June, EQRx and developmental partner CStone Pharmaceuticals announced that sugemalimab, an anti-PD-L1 antibody met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival in a Phase III non-small cell lung cancer study. The companies findings in the GEMSTONE-301 study are statistically significant and clinically meaningful.

In addition to its pipeline, EQRx has entered into multiple collaborations. In the last two months, the company has announced partnerships with Exscientia and AbCellera Biologics Inc. 

In the deal with Exscientia, the companies will harness Exscientia’s artificial intelligence capabilities to drive the development of small molecule therapeutics. For its partnership with AbCellera, struck earlier this week, the companies will leverage AbCellera’s AI capabilities to identify novel antibody drug candidates for multiple disease targets across several therapeutic areas.

When the merger with CM Life Sciences III, Inc. is complete, EQRx will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “EQRX.”

“This transaction propels us into the next phase of growth, and I am excited to lead EQRx as we work to make sustainable and affordable drug pricing a reality for patients, payers and health systems,” Melanie Nallicheri, president and chief operating officer of EQRx, and future CEO of the company, stated. “We are moving rapidly toward the potential commercialization of our lead oncology programs while continuing to grow our pipeline to address the high-cost disease areas of today and in the future.”

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