TCR-Focused Immatics to Merge with Arya Sciences
T cell redirecting cancer company Immatics Biotechnologies entered into a merger agreement with Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp. that will give the Germany-based company a listing on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol IMTX.
Upon completion of the merger, Immatics will receive $148 million in cash that is currently held within Arya’s trust account. Additionally, the company will receive $104 million in private equity through a group of investors led by Perceptive Advisors. The merger is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2020 upon approval from shareholders from both companies.
When the deal is finalized, Immatics will receive gross proceeds of up to $252 million and the company will operate under the Immatics N.V. name, as will be helmed by its current management team headed by Chief Executive Officer Harpreet Singh.
Singh said the business combination with Arya is a unique opportunity to propel the company onto the global stage. In addition to its German roots, the company does have a toehold in Houston. Singh said the merger will provide the company with access to capital markets in the United States, which will be critical to the company’s ability to advance its immunotherapies through the clinic. The company is developing novel T cell receptors as a treatment for solid cancers that have limited treatment options through immuno-oncology. The company is developing both Adoptive Cell Therapies (ACT) and TCR Bispecifics, and is also advancing product candidates in both classes with several clinical-stage ACT lead products. Additionally, the company has several large-scale collaborations with global leaders in the pharmaceutical industry.
For Immatics, the merger agreement follows on the heels of the company’s collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to develop novel adoptive cell therapies for various oncology indications. The companies forged an alliance in February with an initial focus on autologous T-cell therapies.
Last year, the company formed a similar agreement with Celgene, now a part of Bristol Myers Squibb. Also last year, the company inked a deal with Roche to pair the Swiss pharma giant’s Tecentriq with IMA101, Immatics’ investigational autologous cell therapy in patients with solid cancers.
When the transaction is complete, Immatics will own approximately 61% of the issued and outstanding shares in the combined company. When the new company begins trading on the Nasdaq, it is expected to have an initial market capitalization of approximately $634 million.
Adam Stone, CEO of Arya and chief investment officer of Perceptive Advisors, said Immatics has established itself as a leader in TCR-based therapies. He noted that the company’s drug candidates are designed to disrupt the current solid tumor treatment paradigm and open new avenues for cancer patients.
“Our goal when we formed Arya was to identify a unique company with disruptive potential. Immatics’ expertise in identifying cancer targets and developing the right TCRs for immunotherapies, provided exactly that opportunity for this investment vehicle. We look forward to working closely with the Immatics’ team and are excited about the potential their technologies represent – to both patients and investors,” Stone said in a statement.