American Gene Technologies thinks spin spin spin is how you win, as HIV unit heads to SPAC

American Gene Technologies (AGT) may be a little bit dizzy with all this spinning. The biotech has inked a blank-check deal for subsidiary Addimmune, signing off the HIV-focused unit to special purpose acquisition company 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. III. 

Addimmune spun out from AGT in June, taking a mid-stage HIV cell therapy with it. Now, AGT has entered a deal with 10X III to take the spinoff public, with all non-HIV assets being spun out into a separate entity that will keep AGT’s name. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, has already been approved by both companies’ board of directors.

In relation to the proposal, 10X III and AGT have inked a non-binding letter of intent for a $50 million committed equity facility. Once the deal is final, Addimmune stockholders will move 100% of equity into the combined company.

The proposal represents a pre-money enterprise value of $500 million for Addimmune and also offers the potential for $300 million tied to various milestones.

Addimmune will trade under ticker symbol “HIV,” with AGT CEO Jeff Galvin set to helm the new company.

The biotech’s investigational HIV candidate, dubbed AGT103-T, is a single-dose autologous cell therapy designed to harden T cells against HIV infection and depletion.  In 2021, Addimmune finished a phase 1 trial assessing the therapy in seven patients with HIV. The trial, alongside a separate sponsor-initiated follow-on study, showed active immune responses to HIV up to six months after dosing, according to AGT. The clinical findings are the reason AGT formed the spin-off to focus on clinical development and eventual commercialization of a functional cure for HIV.

“We believe that people living with HIV may no longer require lifelong treatment and we imagine a day when this disease no longer causes suffering or claims lives anywhere in the world,” CEO Galvin said in a Aug. 10 release.