With SPACs' high tide long gone, Blue Water ditches second blank check voyage
The SPAC waters have been choppy for a few quarters, and the leaders of Blue Water Vaccines are joining the wave of blank-check operators ditching plans to dock their boat on Wall Street.
While the Blue Water duo of Joseph Hernandez and Jon Garfield was successful in getting their first SPAC to merge with a biotech, testosterone drug maker Clarus Therapeutics, and also take their own biotech public in February, they have decided to back out of the SPAC market, following the suit of many others.
Blue Water Vaccines CEO Hernandez and CFO Garfield had filed their second SPAC, aptly named Blue Water Acquisition II, for a $75 million IPO in October 2021, a month after their first blank check completed its merger with Clarus, taking the Illinois biotech public with $25.3 million in gross proceeds.
But they have pulled the IPO plans for their second attempt, according to an SEC filing Thursday morning. They had planned to merge with a life sciences or pharmaceutical services company in the US or Europe.
Clarus, which markets the drug Jatenzo, is a mere shell of the typical $10 that most SPACs trade at. Since landing on Nasdaq last autumn, Clarus $CRXT has sunk to 28 cents per share.
Meanwhile, Blue Water Vaccines raised $20 million in its IPO back in February, one of very few biotechs to go public in the market doldrums of 2022. The preclinical company, looking at vaccines for universal flu, norovirus, rotavirus and malaria vaccines, priced at $9 but has since fallen to about $2.50 per share $BWV.
The decision to pull the second Blue Water SPAC comes after Innovatus Life Sciences Acquisition withdrew its $175 million IPO two weeks ago.
But the SPAC merger window isn’t completely shut. Two deals were announced in recent weeks, with a company attempting to revive an old Amgen cardio drug and a Phase I biotech in the renal and inflammatory disease space.