GC LabCell (KOSDAQ: 144510) and GC Cell (KOSDAQ: 031390) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to combine in an all-stock transaction. The transaction brings together two iconic South Korean biopharmaceutical companies, highly complementary portfolios with a robust broad cell therapy R&D pipeline and cutting-edge manufacturing capabilities to accelerate growth and enhance value creation.
Under the terms of merger agreement, each share of GC Cell stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 0.4 shares of GC LabCell stock. The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the combination. This deal is subject to approval by shareholders, receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
This transaction is a win for GC LabCell and GC Cell as they leverage their respective strengths in cell therapy space and extensive resources and experiences in scaling new platforms. GC LabCell has pioneered proprietary NK cell platform technology to develop off-the-shelf cell-based cancer immunotherapy. GC Cell is well known for producing no. 1 local oncology therapeutic, ImmuneCell-LC, patient-derived autologous T-cell immunotherapy which was notably approved over a decade ago in South Korea.
Cell therapies have quickly emerged as one of the most transformative innovations in biopharmaceuticals in recent times. With a rising number of giant pharma companies carved out its place in cell therapies, rapid expansion is crucial for proper global play.
The combination creates a pro forma company with increased global scale, over 20 cell therapy assets including cutting-edge CAR-NK and CAR-T based pipeline. The merged co. is also well positioned to collaborate its global specialist US based partners including Artiva Biotherapeutics and Novacel with the company’s scaling tech and manufacturing experience in cell therapies. Pharma giants have already started to take notice of Artiva-GC LabCell collaborative assets, early this year the Artiva team crafted $2 billion worth global licensing deal. With combined forces, they will continue to make their presence.
“The new co. will have a nearly ideal blend of business portfolios in the competitive field of cell therapy,” said companies’ representatives. “Our similar cultures and histories of driving innovation in order to bring more effective and safer therapies to as many patients as possible make this integration a perfect strategic fit.”
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which express the current beliefs and expectations of GC LabCell and GC Cell’s management. Such statements do not represent any guarantee by GC LabCell and GC Cell or its management of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. GC LabCell and GC Cell undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained in this press release or any other forward-looking statements it may make, except as required by law or stock exchange rule.