MoonLake Immunotherapeutics AG goes public via merger with Helix Acquisition
MoonLake Immunotherapeutics AG, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on creating next-level therapies for inflammatory skin and joint diseases and Helix Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: HLXA), sponsored by Cormorant Asset Management, today announced they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement. Upon closing of the transaction, the company will be renamed “MoonLake Immunotherapeutics” and will be led by an international team of immunology experts. The combined company’s common stock is expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MLTX.
MoonLake Immunotherapeutics AG, founded in 2021, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the tri-specific Nanobody®, sonelokimab, to address significant unmet needs in inflammatory skin and joint diseases. Sonelokimab is an IL-17A/F inhibitor that has clinically demonstrated potential to drive therapeutic solutions for dermatology and rheumatology patients. MoonLake aims to develop a portfolio of therapeutic indications for sonelokimab, and is focused on demonstrating its efficacy, safety, dosing convenience and mechanism of action, initially in psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis or radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (AS or RaxSpA), and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). This will build on Phase 2b data showing leading performance in psoriasis. MoonLake is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.
Upon the closing of the business combination, MoonLake will have access to approximately $230 million in cash (less any redemptions and transaction costs). The proceeds will be funded through a combination of approximately $115 million held in a trust account by Helix (assuming no redemptions) and a $115 million concurrent PIPE financing of Helix Class A shares issued at $10.00 per share to leading institutional investors. Assuming a share price of $10.00 per share and no redemptions of Helix shares, MoonLake (as a combined entity) is expected to have an implied pro forma equity value of approximately $620 million at closing. As part of the transaction, certain MoonLake existing equity holders will transfer their MoonLake equity to Helix in exchange for Class A shares of Helix, while certain other MoonLake existing equity holders will have the ability to convert their MoonLake equity into shares of Helix.
The boards of directors of both MoonLake and Helix have unanimously approved the proposed transaction, which is expected to be completed late in the fourth quarter of 2021 or early in the first quarter of 2022. The transaction is subject to, among other things, the approval of the stockholders of both MoonLake and Helix, and satisfaction or waiver of the conditions stated in the definitive business combination agreement.
Jefferies LLC, Cowen and Company, LLC and SVB Leerink LLC acted as co-lead placement agents for Helix Acquisition Corp. on the PIPE transaction. Jefferies also acted as lead capital markets advisor to Helix Acquisition Corp. SVB Leerink LLC also acted as financial advisor to Helix Acquisition Corp. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Kellerhals Carrard Basel KIG and Walkers (Cayman) LLP acted as legal counsel to MoonLake. White & Case LLP, Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd, and Maples Group acted as legal counsel to Helix Acquisition Corp. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel to the placement agents.Read more