Clinical-stage biopharma company Liminatus Pharma LLC and Iris Acquisition Corp, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company formed for the purpose of acquiring or merging with one or more businesses, announced they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement.
Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be renamed Liminatus Pharma, Inc.. The combined company’s common stock is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The transaction funding includes commitments for a $15 million common stock PIPE financing and a $25 million convertible note financing to further support Liminatus’ business growth strategy.
As part of the agreement the new entity is expected to develop three cancer treatments that have originated from the Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) in the U.S. and a South Korean biotech firm, InnobationBio Ltd. The lead product candidate, the GCC Vaccine is currently in phase II clinical trials and is designed to elicit immune responses against colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal cancers that express guanylyl cyclase C (GCC).
Liminatus said it expects to use the increased capital from the agreement to progress its GCC CAR-T therapy to a first in human clinical trial, and complete IND enabling studies for its next generation CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor. In the program CD47 immune checkpoint inhibitor, GenScript ProBio provided the CMC service of antibody drug development for InnobationBio.
“The agreement with Iris and the treatments we are now set to develop which have originated from leading global cancer scientists at the Thomas Jefferson University in the U.S. and from InnobationBio in South Korea, will be a game changer for this area of the healthcare market. There is a significant unmet need for improved treatment for the cancer indications we are targeting, and with the increased capital, we are hopeful that the timelines for getting these potentially life-saving medicines to market have been accelerated,” said Chris Kim, CEO of Liminatus.
Immuno-therapies in demand
Sumit Metha, CEO of Iris, added: “Immuno-therapies are much in-demand and we believe they are one of the most promising medical treatments for cancer. This deal presents a good opportunity for our company to tap into a rapidly growing global cancer immunotherapy market, expected to hit around $262 billion dollars by 2030.
“We are very confident that our investors will be excited for this deal because of the position of these treatments in their development cycle, the global demand and the excellent team of scientific advisors and executives at Liminatus.”
Seung-Koo Kim, CEO of InnobationBio said: “We are grateful to GenScript ProBio for providing CMC services for this promising project and impressed with GenScript ProBio’s professional and high-quality service. Let’s look forward to Liminatus and Iris continuing to advance the project to benefit patients.”
Brian Min, CEO of GenScript ProBio said: “GenScript ProBio is committed to helping customers shorten the timeline for the development of biological drugs, significantly lowering R&D costs and shaping a healthier future. We are very pleased that this promising project will further be advanced by the joint venture between Liminatus Pharma LLC and Iris Acquisition Corp. GenScript ProBio expects more patients will benefit from this superior treatment.”