Humacyte, which develops implantable human acellular vessels for multiple vascular repair, reconstruction and replacement, entered into a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), leading Fresenius to increase its position in the newly combined entity as the lead investor of a private investment in public equity (PIPE), according to a news release.
Fresenius acquired a stake in Humacyte in 2018 for $150 million and agreed on a strategic partnership and now its original stake will be exchanged for shares in the combined company, which will remain under the Humacyte name and will trade on the Nasdaq market under the “HUMA” ticker.
Among several applications, Humacyte develops its implantable vessels to be non-immunogenic and available “off the shelf” for uses such as vascular access for hemodialysis patients. Fresenius said it may prove more effective than conventional synthetic grafts and fistulas for reducing infection and central venous catheter use. Other applications could include reconstruction and repair from traumatic injury and for implants for various vascular diseases.
“Humacyte’s regenerative medicine technology has great potential in many areas of healthcare,” Fresenius global CMO Dr. Franklin W. Maddux said in the release. “We are committed to helping Humacyte achieve market approvals with this renewed investment, to bring their technology into the mainstream of health delivery. This will bring benefits worldwide in the care of patients needing repair or reconstruction of the human vasculature.
“In this way, Fresenius Medical Care is consistently pursuing our strategic goal of driving medical progress with innovative therapeutic approaches, recognizing the powerful advances this represents in bringing regenerative medicine to people in need.”
Humacyte’s vessel is an investigational product and is currently subject to late-stage clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe, with the company looking at filing for regulatory approval in both markets after the completion of the trials.
“Our partnership with Fresenius Medical Care has developed very positively over the last three years, and we are very pleased with the company’s renewed commitment to our shared goals,” Humacyte CEO Dr. Laura Niklason said. “Our two teams have worked well to prepare for the commercialization of our human acellular vessels globally since the formation of the partnership, and we look forward to collaborating further to benefit patients and care providers, as well as the growth of our two companies.”