Singapore-based biotechnology company AUM Biosciences (AUM) plans to go public on Nasdaq via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp.

AUM said in a statement the transaction reflects a pre-money equity value of $400 million for AUM and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

The transaction is also expected to provide approximately $69 million of cash held in Mountain Crest’s trust account, assuming no redemptions.

Both parties have entered into a definitive business combination agreement.

Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate under a holding entity to be formed as a Cayman Islands exempted company (Holdco) and intends to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol AUMB.

Upon closing of the transaction, Vishal Doshi, AUM’s Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead Holdco as its Chief Executive Officer.

Doshi, a pharmacist and medicinal chemist by background, is a seasoned leader with an extensive experience in commercial deal structuring valued at over $4 billion.

He is also a Global Pharma Key Opinion Leader with the Korea Pharmaceutical Industry, a government-affiliated institution which provides professional and systematic support to develop domestic health industry and enhance health services.

“Since our inception, we have worked to scientifically, commercially and financially de-risk our portfolio by leveraging our world class team, strong fundamentals, and un-paralleled executional track record,

“This merger allows AUM to further continue our focus on developing our scientifically differentiated portfolio. We are poised to achieve multiple development milestones over the next two years generating significant value for patients and investors,” said Doshi.

According to the statement, AUM is advancing a broad portfolio of precision oncology therapeutics.

AUM001 is a selective and synergistic MNK inhibitor as shown in current studies and expected to begin Phase 2 enrollment in the fourth quarter 2022.

AUM601 is a promising therapy for TRK fusions and mutations within the kinase domain and is on track to enter Phase two.

AUM302 is a potentially first-in-class macrocyclic oral kinase inhibitor rationally designed small molecule to uniquely combine pan-PIM kinase, pan-PI3K and mTOR inhibition in a single agent.

Comprised of pharma industry veterans with decades of research and development experience, the AUM leadership has an extensive track record of selecting distinctive early-stage assets, successfully exiting virtual biotech models, and has contributed to over 50 INDs and over 150 oncology clinical trials, and development of several currently marketed oncology treatments with annual peak sales up to $3 billion.

AUM completed a $27 million Series A funding round in 2021, and since then has demonstrated sustained growth, while partnering with major pharma companies and securing other non-dilutive funding sources such as grants in support of its development activity.

“AUM is a unique and compelling investment opportunity, with its clinical-stage diversified pipeline of precision therapeutic candidates and global strategic partnerships with industry heavyweights, pointing to significant future growth potential and allowing the company to have a greater US footprint,

“I am thrilled to be partnering with Mr. Doshi and his exceptional team to bring their vision to fruition,” said Suying Liu, Chairman, Mountain Crest Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

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