Alpha Healthcare Acquisition (AHAC), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), is being acquired by privately held Humacyte in a reverse-merger. Humacyte is a world leader in the field of regenerative medicine. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter; the new company will trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker "HUMA."

Alpha Healthcare Acquisition CEO Rajiv Shukla previously ran Constellation Alpha Capital, the SPAC  that took DermTech public in 2019. Over the last year, shares of DermTech have run up 444%. For his new SPAC, Shukla investigated 95 companies before finally settling on Humacyte, according to an article in Fierce Biotech. It was "by far the best option," he said.

Doctor holding hand under virtual graph art with the words "Regenerative Medicine"

image source: Getty Images

Founded by Laura Niklason in 2004, Humacyte has a platform that takes tissue from donors' circulatory systems and uses it to grow human acellular vessels (HAV). These will be off-the-shelf, universally available, and immediately implantable. Humacyte has finished five phase 3 trials and has three phase 3 trials ongoing. The company's HAV technology has a multitude of real-world applications in vascular trauma, hemodialysis, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes, and coronary artery bypass grafts. Humacyte estimates potential peak sales from its pipeline products of $12 billion a year, assuming approval by the FDA.   

The company will receive $100 million from the deal, plus $175 million raised in a private round of financing. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, valuing the new company at an estimated $1.1 billion. As of 1:40 p.m. EST Wednesday, Alpha Healthcare Acquisition was up 12.7% on the news of the planned merger.