Recently, Liminatus Pharma LLC (“Liminatus”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating cancer therapies and Iris Acquisition Corp (“Iris”) (Nasdaq: IRAA), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”) formed for the purpose of acquiring or merging with one or more businesses, announced they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be renamed “Liminatus Pharma, Inc.”. The combined company’s common stock is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The transaction funding includes commitments for a $15 million common stock PIPE financing and a $25 million convertible note financing to further support Liminatus’ business growth strategy.
As part of the agreement the new entity is expected to develop three much-needed cancer treatments which have originated from the Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) in the US and a South Korean biotech firm, InnobationBio Ltd. (“Innobation”). The lead product candidate, the GCC Vaccine is currently in Phase II clinical trials and is designed to elicit immune responses against colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal cancers that express Guanylyl Cyclase C (“GCC”). Further to the work in this area, Liminatus expects to use the increased capital from this agreement to progress its GCC CAR-T therapy to a first in human clinical trial, and complete IND enabling studies for its next generation CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor. In the program CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor, GenScript ProBio provided the CMC service of antibody drug development for InnobationBio.
“The agreement with Iris and the treatments we are now set to develop which have originated from leading global cancer scientists at the Thomas Jefferson University in the US and from InnobationBio in South Korea, will be a game changer for this area of the healthcare market. There is a significant unmet need for improved treatment for the cancer indications we are targeting, and with the increased capital, we are hopeful that the timelines for getting these potentially life-saving medicines to market have been accelerated”, said Chris Kim, CEO Liminatus.
Sumit Metha, CEO of Iris, commented, “Immuno-therapies are much in-demand and we believe they are one of the most promising medical treatments for cancer. This deal presents a good opportunity for our company to tap into a rapidly growing global cancer immunotherapy market, expected to hit around $262 billion dollars by 2030. We are very confident that our investors will be excited for this deal because of the position of these treatments in their development cycle, the global demand and the excellent team of scientific advisors and executives at Liminatus.”
Seung-Koo Kim, CEO of InnobationBio said,“We are grateful to GenScript ProBio for providing CMC services for this promising project and impressed with GenScript ProBio's professional and high-quality service. Let’s look forward to Liminatus and Iris continuing to advance the project to benefit patients.”
Dr. Brian Min, CEO of GenScript ProBio said, “GenScript ProBio is committed to helping customers shorten the timeline for the development of biological drugs, significantly lowering R&D costs and shaping a healthier future. We are very pleased that this promising project will further be advanced by the joint venture between Liminatus Pharma LLC and Iris Acquisition Corp. GenScript ProBio expects more patients will benefit from this superior treatment.”
Liminatus is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer therapies that exploit the body's immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells. The development pipeline consists of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapeutics, Guanylyl Cyclase C (GCC) cancer vaccine and CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor.
Iris Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: IRAA) is a special purpose acquisition company listed on Nasdaq and sponsored by Iris Acquisition Holdings LLC, which is backed by Arrow Capital Multi Asset Fund. On March 9, 2021, Iris Acquisition Corp consummated the IPO of 27,600,000 units priced at $10 per unit, generating gross proceeds of $276,000,000. The Company was incorporated for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with a high growth business.
Arrow Capital is a registered investment management company with offices in Dubai (regulated by Dubai Financial Services Authority – DFSA) and Mauritius (regulated by Financial Services Commission – FSC)
InnobationBio Co., Ltd., headquartered in the Republic of Korea, is a biotechnology company having established two major platforms. Its R&D activities focus on developing antibody- and immune-cell-based cancer therapeutics and liquid biopsy-based biomarkers for screening cancer patients.
GenScript ProBio, a subsidiary of GenScript Biotech Corporation, offers end-to-end CDMO services from drug discovery to commercialization with proactive strategies, professional solutions and efficient processes in CGT, vaccine, biologics discovery and antibody protein drug, aiming to accelerate drug development for customers. GenScript ProBio has established companies in the United States, the Netherlands, South Korea, and China (Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Nanjing) and other regions to serve global customers, and has helped customers in the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific and other regions obtain more than 40 IND approvals since October 2017.