TriSalus inks SPAC merger to fund cancer trials of pressure-enabled drug delivery technology

TriSalus Life Sciences has identified a path to data on its drug delivery device and lead candidate, inking a deal to merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and build an anticipated $60 million cash reserve.

Colorado-based TriSalus’ business is built on TriNav, an infusion system that enables the modulation of pressure and flow to overcome tumoral pressure and thereby improve the delivery of anti-cancer drugs. The pressure-enabled drug delivery technology, which came to market in 2020, is designed to get more drug to tumor cells in organs such as the liver and pancreas that can limit uptake via diffusion.

The device is estimated to generate sales of $12.6 million this year. TriSalus is also using the technology in its internal drug development pipeline. The internal pipeline is led by SD-101, a toll-like receptor 9 agonist that TriSalus acquired from Dynavax in 2020. 

Over the past 18 months, TriSalus has kicked off a clutch of clinical trials that are testing the effects of using the delivery device to administer SD-101 to cancer patients. The studies are evaluating the drug in combination with checkpoint inhibitors in patients with liver and pancreatic cancers. 

With the studies heading toward data drops, TriSalus has moved to secure funding for its pipeline. The SPAC that has taken the other side of the deal, MedTech Acquisition Corporation, raised $220 million in an upsized IPO late in 2020. However, TriSalus is “assuming significant redemptions,” leading it to predict it will exit the merger with $60 million. One investor is providing $50 million from a convertible note.

TriSalus expects the money to fund it into late 2024, taking it past key data readouts on its device and immunotherapy platform. By the second quarter of next year, the company is aiming to have initial and durable response data on SD-101 in three indications.