Although the parties did not disclose the reason for the deal termination, it is likely due to unfavorable market conditions or difficulty satisfying closing conditions. But, with a deadline of January 28, 2023, the SPAC intends to continue in its efforts to identify a prospective target business for an initial business combination.
The news comes shortly after BIOT postponed its special meeting on June 3 for a second time. This meeting was first pushed back from June 1 and as with the previous postponement, Biotech noted that it had obtained sufficient votes to approve the transaction, but it needed additional time to satisfy all closing conditions. As required by Cayman Islands law, BIOT will convene the previously postponed extraordinary general meeting of shareholders tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 9:00 AM Eastern Time, but intends to adjourn.
Biotech was required to maintain at least $75 million in cash available through its trust and PIPE proceeds in order for the deal to close. It initially announced a $24.3 million PIPE and signed a common stock purchase agreement on May 9 with an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald for it to purchase up to $75 million in the combined company’s shares post-close.
The current market pain is still creating challenging conditions for SPACs and IPOs alike, making BIOT’s deal the 24th to terminate this year. Biotech Acquisition Company initially raised $230 million in its initial public offering in January 2021, and will remain committed to finding a life-sciences partner that can deliver value for its shareholders. The SPAC is led by CEO and Chairman Dr. Michael Shleifer.
As for Blade, it will remain focused on its development plans, particularly for its differentiated lead asset, cudetaxestat, a non-competitive autotaxin inhibitor which is expected to enter a planned phase 2 clinical study in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Earlier this year, Blade announced that the FDA provided the feedback necessary in order for it to proceed to Phase II proof of concept and dose-ranging studies for its cudetaxestat drug candidate.
Biotech Acquisition Company initially announced its $352.8 million combination with Blade last year on November 8, 2021. San Francisco-based Blade Therapeutics is developing three drug candidates as potential therapies against varying forms of organ fibrosis with its most advanced having completed Phase I.