Science 37 looks to reach unicorn status with SPAC deal

The Californian-based, virtual trials firm expected to reach $1 billion valuation through transaction.

Following a strong 2020, Science 37 is looking to reach yet another major milestone through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) LifeSci Acquisition II Corp. The transaction is expected to transform Science 37 to unicorn status with a valuation of $1.05 billion. According to a statement by the company, the deal will allow Science 37 to access about $250 million to fund its decentralized trial technology platform, extend into new adjacencies, and power the next generation in clinical research. Since the onset of the pandemic, SPACs have become popular with life sciences companies as they offer a cheaper and less risky alternative to access additional capital to fund acquisitions or Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

Founded in 2014, Science 37 has since partnered with the likes of PRA Health, PPD, ERT and Signant Health, to name a few, and has supported over 95 decentralized, virtual trials with around 366,000 patients. In recent years, the clinical trials landscape has seen a significant shift, as more companies adopted technology to access wider pools of patients while lowering the cost of research. The shift was dramatically catalysed by the pandemic as the industry explored ways of accessing patients amid lockdowns. According to Rock Health, developers of virtual trials reported a record $787 million during the first three quarters of 2020, a notable jump compared to the previous record of $403 million reported in 2016.