Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals and F-star Therapeutics Agree to Combine to Pursue Mission of Creating Next Generation Immunotherapies


Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBPH) (“Spring Bank”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for oncology and inflammatory diseases, and F-star Therapeutics, Limited (“F-star”), a privately-held clinical- stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients with cancer through the development of innovative tetravalent bispecific (mAb2TM) antibodies, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive share exchange agreement pursuant to which Spring Bank will, subject to stockholder approval, acquire all of the outstanding share capital of F-star in exchange for newly issued shares of Spring Bank in an all-stock transaction. The combined company, operating under the name F-star Therapeutics, Inc., will advance its immuno-oncology pipeline of multiple tetravalent bispecific antibodyprograms, as well as Spring Bank’s STING (STimulator of INterferon Gene) agonist, SB 11285, currently in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial.

Martin Driscoll, President and CEO of Spring Bank, said: “After an extensive and thorough review of Spring Bank’s strategic options following the termination of our Phase 2b Hepatitis B development program earlierthis year, we are thrilled to announce a proposed combination with F-star Therapeutics. We believe thecombined company’s strong portfolio of multiple clinical-stage immuno-oncology therapeutic programs, near-term milestones, and accomplished oncology development leadership team offer an excellent opportunity to benefit cancer patients, as well as provide the potential for future value creation for Spring Bank stockholders. The F-star leadership team has committed to continuing the ongoing clinical trial of SB 11285, an IV-administered STING agonist, as part of its expansive immuno-oncology clinical pipeline.

“This transaction offers the Spring Bank stockholders of record as of immediately prior to the close of thecombination potential future additional value in the form of two contingent value rights (“CVRs”) related toour STING agonist and STING antagonist programs. The first CVR represents the right to receive a potential future cash payment of at least $1.00 per share (on a pre-reverse split basis) if the combined company consummates one or more strategic transactions for SB 11285 aggregating at least approximately $18.0 million within a certain period following the closing. The second CVR gives Spring Bank stockholders the right to receive 80% of the net proceeds from a potential development agreement and from one or more strategic transactions related to the STING antagonist research program that are consummated within a certain period following the closing of the combination.”

Eliot Forster, CEO of F-star, said: “We are truly excited about the opportunity created by this proposedcombination to further advance our pipeline of novel tetravalent bispecific antibodies, which we believe will be able to address the limitations of current therapies in the field of immuno-oncology. At F-star, we are pioneering a differentiated approach to bispecifics, using a natural human IgG1 antibody format that has already shown early signs of clinical activity, established manufacturing processes and promising safety.

“Currently, only a minority of patients realize long-lasting benefit from immunotherapy, so there remains a significant unmet medical need to develop more effective cancer treatment options. We believe this transaction will provide the resources to accelerate F-star’s clinical development and generate stockholder value through a pipeline of novel therapies with the potential to improve the lives of patients with difficult totreat cancers.”

By developing medicines that seek to block tumor immune evasion, F-star’s goal is to offer patients greater and more durable benefits than current immuno-oncology treatments. Through its proprietary tetravalent, bispecific antibody (mAb2) format, F-star’s mission is to generate highly differentiated, best-in-class drug candidates with monoclonal antibody-like manufacturability.

The combined company’s pipeline will include:

  • FS118, a LAG-3/PD-L1-targeting tetravalent bispecific antibody, currently in Phase 1 development
  • FS120, a Phase 1-ready dual T cell agonist tetravalent bispecific antibody targeting OX40 and CD137
  • FS222, a conditional agonist targeting CD137 and PD-L1 expected to enter first in human trials in the first quarter of 2021
  • SB 11285, a novel IV-administered STING agonist, currently in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of solid tumors
  • Additional research programs from the F-star differentiated bispecific technology platform and the potential further development of Spring Bank’s STING agonist antibody drug conjugates (“ADCs”)

The combined company plans to advance its pipeline through multiple clinical trials, including the following anticipated near-term milestones that offer significant potential value creation for Spring Bank’sstockholders:

  • Report Phase 1 results from the FS118 program (2020 Q4) 
  • Update on SB 11285 monotherapy cohorts (2020 Q4)
  • Update on accelerated dose titration from the FS120 Phase 1 trial (2021 Q2) 
  • Initial read out from the SB 11285-atezolizumab combination cohort (2021 H1)
  • Initiation of PK/PD expansion cohorts in the FS222 Phase 1 trial (2021 Q4) 
  • Update on FS118 Phase 2 proof of concept trial (2022 Q1)
  • Initiation of FS120 PD-1 combination trial (2022 Q2)
  • Update on dose escalation in FS222 Phase 1 (2022 Q2)
  • Report FS118 Phase 2 proof of concept readout (2022 Q4)
  • Report initiation of tumor specific expansion cohorts in FS222 Phase 1 (2022 Q4)

F-star anticipates raising additional capital at the closing of the proposed combination from current and potential new investors and the combined company expects to have at least $40 million in cash prior to closing. This financing will help fund the further development of the combined company’s preclinical andclinical immuno-oncology programs, and the combined company expects to have multiple opportunities to raise non-dilutive capital from existing and future business development collaborations over the next two to three years.


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