It's a brave new world for SomaLogic, as the proteomics biotech rides Eli Casdin's newest SPAC to Nasdaq with $1.2B valuation
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The burgeoning field of proteomics has courted heavy investment over the last few years, and on Monday a prominent proteomics biotech scored a new heaping of capital.
SomaLogic announced plans to reverse-merge with Eli Casdin and Keith Meister’s second SPAC on Monday, dubbed CM Life Sciences II, fetching the company a $1.23 billion valuation. The deal gives SomaLogic a cash infusion of $276 million from the SPAC’s IPO last month, as well as a private investment of $375 million from a syndicate of new and returning investors.
Once the merger closes sometime in the third quarter, the combined company will trade on the ticker $SLGC.
Casdin and Meister had teamed up last summer for their first blank check company, raising what was then a massive $385 million before the SPAC floodgates opened this year. Meister, who is himself a Carl Icahn protégé once viewed as the billionaire’s right-hand man, launched the SPAC in August 2020 and teamed up with Casdin and his biopharma team.
The cash total swelled to $443 million when the shell company announced its intent to merge with Sema4 in February, giving the J&J and Sanofi-partnered patient data, testing and genomics platform a $2 billion valuation. It was one of the largest life sciences SPAC deals to date as cash continues to flow almost unfettered into SPACs.
Now the duo is back at it again with Monday’s SomaLogic agreement, bringing the Boulder, CO-based biotech to Nasdaq. It’s one of a number of biotechs looking to understand the human body by looking at proteins, rather than DNA and RNA, and the deal comes just three months after the company’s Series A extension.
SomaLogic CEO Roy Smythe told Endpoints News that the “context” of the market helped fuel their decision to go public shortly after last year’s fundraise.
“We intended on some timeline after that Series A to contemplate a public transition to think about when to do that,” Smythe told Endpoints. “We had been talking about making a decision prior to this, and the SPAC has some advantages depending on your perspective as a company.”
With the merger, SomaLogic can now “double down” on its strategy of both collecting proteomic data and creating applications for clinical trials using that data, Smythe added. The company says it has a total of 20 validated testing tools, known as SomaSignal, with another 100 or so in development.
SPACs have triggered what’s become a gold rush on Wall Street, with more than $170 billion poured into the holding companies so far this year. That’s already eclipsed the figure from all of 2020, Reuters reported last week, which hit $157 billion.
That rush has only brought in more money with a myriad of investors trying to capitalize. There was the high-profile Richard Branson SPAC that merged with 23andMe in February, and Foresite and Perceptive, among others, have launched new blank check companies in recent months.
The SomaLogic merger also comes shortly after the SEC opened an inquiry into how Wall Street banks are managing their risks in the blank check deals, asking financial institutions to voluntarily provide information about how they’re internally policing SPACs.