人工智能,,,,BioPharma

‘Digitally native’ pharma Valo Health and Khosla scrap merger plan ahead of vote

旗舰开拓者的Valo Health和Khosla Ventures Apacisition Co.在预定的股东投票前夕放弃了他们的SPAC合并,内容涉及是否批准该交易。各方将该决定描述为相互的,他们引用了“市场状况”。

handshake, break, deal

数字技术公司Valo Health拥有一个用于药物研究的人工智能平台和该软件生产的化合物管道,但它不再具有将它们带入公共市场的工具。Valo和Khosla Ventures Aquisition Co.拥有terminatedthe merger agreement that would have combined the self-described “digitally native” therapeutics biotech with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

两家公司将终止描述为共同的决定。他们在周一晚些时候宣布的原因是“当前的市场状况,尤其是在生物技术领域”。没有提供其他细节。终止是在Khosla股东计划在周二投票之前就是否批准合并交易的投票。根据merger agreement,这笔交易可以通过共同书面同意终止,没有任何一方对对方承担任何责任。

波士顿-based Valo launched last fall, revealing more than $100 million in financial backing since the company was formed and initially financed by venture capital firm Flagship Pioneering in 2019. The company’s drug discovery technology, called Opal, is designed to improve on older drug research techniques by using artificial intelligence to run simulations, optimizing a range of properties of a molecule, such as its activity against disease, how it is processed by the body, and reducing a compound’s toxic effects.

Opal’s AI algorithms are also applied to patient data, analysis of which can identify patterns in drug response, which in turn can help identify patient subpopulations for an experimental therapy. The process becomes a feedback loop. Insights gleaned from experiments are fed back into Opal, where machine learning-techniques learn from them and shape future experiments. At the time of the merger announcement in June,Valo claimed Opal had built more than 30,000 predictive models and made more than 2 billion predictions。The company contends that Opal has the potential to advance drug candidates in half the time, at half the cost, and with fewer drug failures compared to traditional drug development.

The Valo technology has already produced drug candidates. The company had reported a pipeline of 17 programs spanning cardiovascular/metabolic/renal disorders, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Acute kidney injury drug OPL-0301 and OPL-0401 for diabetic complications are Valo’s most advanced programs, both of them ready to begin Phase 2 testing.

在终止公告,Valo创始人d CEO David Berry said that the company is moving closer to launching its first Phase 2 trial later this year, and the second one in the first half of 2022. Those programs and others in the Valo pipeline were to be supported by cash provided by the SPAC merger. Khosla was bringing about $333 million to the merger. The deal also secured additional private financing, which was expected to raise $168.5 million. That financing grew by an additional $32.3 million in July, and by another $1.1 million last week. With the merger deal terminated, that investment won’t happen.

In the termination announcement, Samir Kaul, founding partner and managing director at Khosla Ventures, said that the SPAC is now back in the hunt for other merger opportunities, but not necessarily in biotech.

他说:“瓦洛健康(Valo Health)是一家强大的公司,我们希望他们继续取得非常扎实的计划,他们继续取得成功。”“我们将继续寻找各个行业的其他高影响力目标,以提供最大的股东价值。”

Valo将需要用手头的现金为其临床试验计划提供资金。当合并协议最初在整个夏季宣布时,该公司表示其现金持股约为2.5亿美元。更多的现金可能来自伙伴关系。除了支持内部管道外,瓦洛还说,蛋白石可能会成为与希望使用该技术来获得自己的药物研究见解的其他公司达成交易的基础。

照片:库兹玛,盖蒂图像

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