ON EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES
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- In our last Process Technology Quarterly Insights, we profiled what we termed the drug discovery rocket scientists: companies using unique model systems, data analysis and advanced algorithms to discover and advance drug candidates. This quarter we highlight a new entrant to the space, Vyant Bio (VYNT), formed from the merger of Cancer Genetics and StemoniX.
- Vyant is an interesting combination of Cancer Genetics' vivoPharm business, which focuses on preclinical and clinical drug development and testing, and StemoniX's class-leading human organoid and computational prowess. The resulting human-biology-first, integrated biological, computational, and experimental technology platform appears to have the potential to make significant contributions to drug development, especially in human-centric diseases that have no adequate animal or in vitro models.
- Prior to the merger, privately held StemoniX was primarily a drug discovery technology provider (providing assays or service), while publicly traded Cancer Genetics was a preclinical analytical and regulatory service provider on a fee-for-service basis. As Vyant, they will focus on integrated drug discovery, developing proprietary drug leads and preclinical and clinical leads within biopharma-funded partnerships that provide Vyant economic interests in the drugs it enables.
- While the rest of the profiled "rocket scientist" group - Schrodinger (SDGR), BioXcel (BTAI), SimulationsPlus (SLP), Viva Biotech (1873.HK), and Codexis (CDXS) - entered a lower orbit during the quarter as their stock prices generally declined, we continue to believe this sector has the potential to fundamentally transform human health just as rocket science fundamentally transformed our economy and society.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Merger completed in March
Process technology index declined and recovered in Q1
After three sluggish quarters, process technology M&A activity rebounds
Q1 private placements continue to accelerate
Merger completed in March
The definitive merger agreement that created Vyant, announced in August 2020, was structured as a reverse merger with conditions that included a requirement to raise $10 million for the combined entity. On Jan. 28, Cancer Genetics announced a $10 million private placement at $3.625 per share, with the proceeds to be available to the combined company when the merger closed. On Feb. 10, Cancer Genetics announced a $17.5 million registered direct offering at $6.30 per share. Following the required shareholder approval, announced March 25, the merged company began trading under the ticker VYNT on March 31. We look at three factors as being key to Vyant's ability to realize its potential: team, technology and customer relationships.