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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Science 37 Plans to Go Public in $1.33 Billion Deal

Playa Vista-based Science 37 Inc., a digital clinical trial firm, is becoming a publicly listed company through a merger with LifeSci Acquisition II Corp., that gives the combined businesses an equity value of $1.3 billion at closing.

The transaction through the New York-based special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is expected to close in the third quarter, Science 37 Chief Executive David Coman said in an interview.

LifeSci is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq market and trade under the ticker symbol SNCE.

Since Science 37 was founded in 2014, the research firm that enables people to participate in clinical trials virtually from home instead of traveling to medical centers has raised $147.5 million in venture capital funds.

The company has also attracted some of the biggest investors in the biopharmaceutical and life sciences business, including Lux Capital, Redmile Group and PPD Inc. They were joined in August by existing investors Novartis, Amgen Inc., Sanofi Ventures, GV and Glynn Capital. New investors included LifeSci Venture Partners and Mubadala Ventures.

In investor slides provided by the company, Science 37 forecasts revenue to grow from $52 million in 2021 to $362 million by 2025.

Coman said the company has conducted more than 95 virtual clinical trials and engaged more than 366,000 patients — about 20% of whom are Covid-19 related.

“There is so much work in Covid right now, and we are getting our fair share in relation to the rest of the studies,” Coman said. “There are a number of trials that began in recent weeks. We were involved in one of the first trials at the beginning of the pandemic, and it may have been the first trial.”

Other trials have included drug efficacy on everything from treating infectious and respiratory diseases to gastrointestinal conditions and adrenal hyperplasia disorders.

Patients who participate in the trials are often too sick to travel to medical facilities that average 26 miles away from their homes.

“We take that burden away for patients to have to travel,” said Coman, who added that as a result, big pharma firms can bring their drugs to market more quickly.

“There’s an extraordinary growth curve ahead of us,” Coman said.

The merger with LifeSci Acquisition gives Science 37 an enterprise value of about $1.1 billion at closing and a balance sheet of $250 million in cash to fund its drug-testing trial platform.

A group of investors will kick in another $200 million to the Science 37 deal as part of a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, which permits the buying of shares of publicly traded stock at a price below the current market value. 

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