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NantKwest Stock Surges 42% On News Of ImmunityBio Merger

Updated: 21 Dec 2020

Shares of cell-based therapeutics company NantKwest (NASDAQ: NK) are surging on Monday after the announcement of a merger with privately-held immunotherapy firm, ImmunityBio.

The deal is a stock-for-stock transaction which will result in the two companies forming a leading immunotherapy and cell therapy business that will focus on oncology and infectious disease.

The newly formed company will have a broad clinical-stage pipeline including 13 assets in clinical trials and 11 in Phase 2 to 3 trials, as well as a robust early-stage pipeline to address other difficult to treat cancers.

“With 13 clinical trials across multiple tumor types at Phase I to III and with the combined talent in research, clinical development and manufacturing, the merged entity is poised to be a leader in the immunotherapy space,” commented Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, the founder of ImmunityBio.

ImmunityBio will reverse merge with NantKwest with ImmunityBio shareholders receiving 0.8190 shares of NantKwest for each share of ImmunityBio that they own. That will see ImmunityBio shareholders own around 72% of the combined company and NantKwest shareholders own approximately 28%.

NASDAQ: NK

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021 with the new company listed on the Nasdaq and assuming the ImmunityBio name, trading under the ticker symbol IBRX.

NantKwest shares are up 42.40% premarket, at $14.61 following Friday’s close at $10.26.

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