Science 37 takes the SPAC shortcut to Nasdaq, landing a $235M windfall for its push on decentralized trials
Science 37, which bills itself as a pioneer in the move to decentralized clinical trials, has reached the end of the SPAC trail to Nasdaq.
The life sci company has completed its merger with LifeSci Acquisition II Corp., a blank check company, that will deliver a $235 million bonus of cash, less the usual slate of fees.
Decentralized trials have been all the rage in biopharma, particularly during the pandemic as companies adjusted to lockdowns and distancing demands. But they were trendy even before Covid made them absolutely necessary as drug developers looked for new and better ways to attract a diverse set of patients for clinical studies.
In this particular case, Science 37 boasts about an “operating system” that can take decentralized trials one or two steps further away from trial sites, deploying a network of mobile nurses, telemedicine investigators, remote coordinators and connected devices to keep patients remote. A few weeks ago they inked an alliance with Roche’s Foundation Medicine to identify cancer patients that would be better served by their trial model, looking to crack some long-lasting issues with recruitment that have hampered investigators over the years.
The SPAC that offered Science 37 a quick hop to the markets is a subsidiary of LifeSci Partners, which has branched out as a litany of other LifeSci companies — such as LifeSci Advisors, LifeSci Venture Partners and LifeSci Capital. With Andrew McDonald at the head of these other firms since 2010 (with the exception of LifeSci Capital founded in 2014), the former Pfizer chemist and biotech analyst — turned CEO — has acquired other companies before. Just last year, LifeSci Acquisition Corp merged with Vincerx Pharma to create a new oncology company, trading under the new ticker symbol $VINC.
“The Science 37 Operating System has been proven to materially accelerate patient enrollment, provide meaningfully higher patient retention, significantly reduce patient burden and enable participation from underserved patient populations. This is all made possible through our full-stack, end-to-end technology platform and supported by specialized patient communities, telemedicine investigators, mobile nurses, and remote coordinators,” said Science 37 CEO David Coman. “The additional capital from this transaction will help us deliver on our vision to be the category-defining operating system that powers every clinical trial as the industry shifts to more agile trial designs.”
Coman now jumps on to a board including:
Rob Faulkner, managing director at Redmile Group, as chairman; John Hubbard, former CEO at Bioclinica and former SVP and worldwide head of development operations at Pfizer; Bhooshi de Silva, SVP, global head of corporate development, strategy and ventures, at PPD, Adam Goulburn, partner at Lux Capital; Neil Tiwari, partner of private healthcare ventures at Magnetar Capital; and upon approval, Emily Rollins, former partner of Deloitte & Touche.