SPACs on Life Support as HDL Therapeutics goes Public

Biotech firm HDL Therapeutics announced that it will go public via a SPAC acquisition that values the company at $480 million. According to the press release, “HDL Therapeutics aims to be a leader in treating high-risk plaques in coronary arteries of patients with heart disease. These plaques are prone to rupture and put patients at high-risk for serious cardiac events.” The commercial stage biotech holds a patented technology platform that “can significantly regress these high-risk plaques in adult patients with [homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia] in an effort to fill a critical treatment gap in combating coronary atherosclerosis.”

After the boom of 2020-2021, the flow of SPAC deals has slowed drastically to an anemic trickle. The rock bottom interest rates that accompanied the pandemic flooded the market with cash. Investors, in turn, put much of that cash in SPACs to seek returns. Companies took the opportunity to go public while sidestepping the rigors and delays of a traditional initial public offering. But with quickly increasing interest rates alongside greater regulatory scrutiny and a volatile market, SPAC activity plummeted in 2022 and into 2023.

In fact, much of 2023’s activity was driven by many of the left-over SPACs from the boom that needed to quickly strike a deal before they were required to return their funds to investors. Regardless of the method by which HDL Therapeutics is going public, the company seeks to serve a critical market.

SPAC IPOs in the U.S. (2003 – August 2023)

Cardiac disease is an enormous problem in the United States – and big business, as well. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Million Hearts Initiative, one in every three deaths in the U.S. is due to cardiac disease, with one in every six healthcare dollars spent in the area. The CDC lists heart disease as the leading cause of death in the nation, followed by cancer, and then unintentional injuries.

Leading Underlying Causes of Death, United States, 2022

The American Medical Association projects the problem will only get worse. Younger adults are showing obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia at alarming rates that suggest a wave of cardiac disease to come as they age. “We are witnessing a smoldering public health crisis that could result in a tsunami of cardiovascular disease over the long-term,” according to Dr. Rishi K. Wadhera.

According to Matterhorn’s comprehensive M&A database, which harnesses AI to track current and historical deals, HDL Therapeutics is advised by Mayer Brown LLP, while the SPAC, Swiftmerge Acquisition Corp., is advised by Loeb & Loeb LLP.