The 2022 year has started quietly for SPACs, with no deals announced in the first five trading days of the year. Although two new SPAC rumors have popped up since the market closed on Friday and both involve a well-known name in the SPAC space.
Akili Interactive: A company that specializes in technology-based cognitive therapies could be the first SPAC deal of the year, according to a rumor reported by Bloomberg. Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp 1 DNAA is nearing a deal with Akili Interactive that could value the prescription digital medicine company at $800 million.
Akili offers digital therapeutics using “captivating action video-game experiences.” Digital therapeutics have been shows to improve attention from children who suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the report.
Akili is targeting treatments for autism spectrum disorder, major depressive disorder and multiple sclerosis.
Investors in Akili Interactives include Bailie Gifford, Temasek Holdings, Shire, Neuberger Berman, and Amgen Ventures, an investment arm from Amgen Inc AMGN.
Akili was valued at $410 million in a May funding round.
ProKidney: Medical technology company ProKidney could be valued at $1 billion in a rumored SPAC deal with Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp III DNAC. A rumor from Bloomberg said a deal could be announced in the coming week.
ProKidney was started by Pablo Legorreta, the founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma RPRX. The company is working on a technology to restore kidney function. The technology uses a patient’s own cells for the treatment.
The company’s website underscores the 100,000 people on the kidney transplant list that start dialysis each year, a number which grows by 10% a year. Thirteen people die a day while waiting on the kidney transplant list, according to the website.
“We aspire to cure kidney disease, not manage kidney failure,” the company’s website says. ProKidney is conducting multiple Phase 2 clinical trials for its REACT product, according to the company.
It's one of four biotech-themed SPACs launched by Palihapitiya in 2021.
Why It’s Important: The list of SPACs outstanding that are searching for deals continues to rise and is outpacing the number of deals announced each week.
No deals have been announced in 2022 through the first week of trading.
Palihapitiya, who has completed numerous SPAC deals and been a PIPE investor on deals, last announced a SPAC merger for one of his Social Capital SPACs at the beginning of 2021.
Palihapitiya SPACs were often well received by the market when announced, and two rumored deals from his biotech SPACs could put the spotlight on SPACs early in 2022.
Investors could also turn to the other two outstanding biotech SPACs from Palihapitiya and Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp IV IPOD and Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp VII IPOF, which have traded near or below net asset value for many months.
Disclosure: Author is long shares IPOD, IPOF, SOFI.
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