Israeli alpha-radiation cancer therapy developer Alpha Tau Medical has announced that it has signed an agreement to merge with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Healthcare Capital Corp. (Nasdaq: HCCC). The company acquiring Alpha Tau has a market cap of $240 million but when the merger is completed Alpha Tau will have a valuation of $1 billion.
Effective and focused treatment of solid cancerous tumors (non-blood cancers) is an in-demand field on stock exchanges but it is very hard to obtain significant results for these types of cancer.
In 2019, Alpha Tau reported good Phase I results for a clinical trial on 28 patients with brain and neck tumors and squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer. With 78% of patients the tumor completely disappeared and 61% of the patients has previously undergone other treatment that had failed. Alpha Tau is currently conducting trials for four other types of cancer - breast, oral cavity, pancreas and skin.
Alpha Tau reinvented itself in 2016 after activities were halted due to frictions between the shareholders. Managed by CEO Uzi Sofer, the former CEO of Brainsway, the Alpha DaRT technology was invented in 2003 by Prof. Itzhak Kelson and Prof. Yona Keisari from Tel Aviv University.
Alpha DaRT (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Therapy) enables highly potent and conformal alpha-irradiation of solid tumors. The treatment is delivered by intra-tumor insertion of radium-224 impregnated seeds. When the radium decays, its short-lived offspring is released from the seed, and disperses while emitting high-energy alpha particles that destroy the tumor. Since the alpha-emitting atoms diffuse only a short distance, Alpha DaRT mainly affects the tumor, sparing the healthy tissue around it.
According to IVC, Alpha Tau has raised $80 million to date and in its Series B financing round in 2018 Shavit Capital, which often invests in IPOs on foreign stock markets, invested in the company.
Other investors in the company include OurCrowd, Sir Ronald Cohen and Alan Patricof, Dynamic Loop Capital, Howard Sterling, and Medison Ventures.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 8, 2021
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