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22 November, 2020 - 22:22 By Tony Quested

F-star makes NASDAQ bow as Cambridge steps up US parade

F-star Therapeutics in Cambridge has wrapped up its fusion with Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals in Massachusetts and makes its NASDAQ bow tomorrow.

Heavily armed with cash and immuno-oncology expertise, the newly sculpted F-star Therapeutics Inc will operate from a transatlantic power base in Cambridge UK – at Babraham Research Campus – and Cambridge MA.

With the NASDAQ IPO fully cooked and ready to serve just three days after Thanksgiving, F-star is really talking turkey!

The business is committed to transforming the lives of patients with cancer through the development of innovative tetravalent mAb2 bispecific antibodies. 

Concurrent with the closing of the merger, an investor syndicate comprising Atlas, AESCAP, SR One, M Ventures, MH Partners and other new backers, invested $15 million in F-star. The projected cash and equivalents at the close of the deal are expected to be around $30 million, net of estimated transaction costs. Cambridge-anchored law firm Mills & Reeve served as UK counsel to F-star.

Eliot Forster, president and CEO of F-star Therapeutics, said: “We are very excited to start our new journey as a public company through this combination with Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals. 

“We are committed to finding new treatments to help patients with cancer live longer. By stopping the disease in its tracks and slowing progression we envision a future in which cancer will be thought of as a chronic condition, where individuals can manage their disease, maintaining and enjoying productive lives.

“At F-star, we are pioneering a differentiated approach to bispecifics, using a natural human IgG1 antibody format that has already shown early signs of clinical activity, promising safety and employs established manufacturing processes. 

“We seek to help the unmet medical needs of millions of patients with cancer whose initial immuno-oncology treatments have not achieved their hoped-for outcome.”

Cambridge already has life sciences duo GW Pharmaceuticals and Bicycle Therapeutics blazing a trial on NASDAQ; Horizon Discovery is joining them after being acquired by PerkinElmer for $368m and Kymab is expected to follow in due course.

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