Larkspur Health Acquisition files to go public as this year's SPAC flood surges over $14B
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Another day, another SPAC vying for a spot on Nasdaq.
On Wednesday, OncoSec Medical CEO Daniel O’Connor filed the S-1 paperwork for a new blank-check company he’s leading called Larkspur Health Acquisition. The former Advaxis chief penciled in a $75 million raise, with plans to offer 7.5 million shares at $10 apiece.
According to Endpoints News’ IPO tracker, 44 SPACs have filed for IPOs this year, raising just shy of $14.5 billion. It’s all part of a wave that carried over from 2020, which saw more than 30 health care-focused SPACs go public. Blank check companies, which accounted for only 3% of the IPO market in 2014, represented more than 35% of last year’s market.
Ginkgo Bioworks struck a record $2.5 billion SPAC deal earlier this week, announcing plans to merge with Harry Sloan’s Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp., which sets its pre-money valuation at $15 billion. Science 37 — a tech developer known for its work on decentralized clinical trials — also recently announced plans to go public on the back of a SPAC, striking a deal to merge with LifeSci Acquisition II Corp., which raised just over $80 million in November.
Like most SPACs, Larkspur is keeping the details to a minimum, only revealing in the S-1 that it’s looking to merge with a company in the biotech industry.
“We have not selected any specific business combination target and we have not, nor has anyone on our behalf, initiated any substantive discussions, directly or indirectly, with any business combination target,” the document states.
O’Connor, a former criminal prosecutor in Somerset County, NJ, was CEO of Advaxis before leaving the company abruptly — and without offering a reason — in 2017. He’s now leading OncoSec’s efforts to develop an IL-12 cancer therapy that’s activated by electroporation, or a series of momentary energy pulses. The biotech’s investigational therapy Tavo is currently in a pivotal trial in combination with Keytruda for advanced melanoma.