Pharma Focus Europe

Tradeup Acquisition Corp. And Estrella Biopharma, Inc. Announce the Successful Completion of Their Business Combination

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Estrella Immunopharma, Inc., formerly known as TradeUP Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: UPTD, UPTDW, UPTDU), has successfully completed its merger with Estrella Biopharma, Inc., a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in T-cell therapies for blood cancers and solid tumors.

The newly merged entity will operate as Estrella Immunopharma, Inc. under the leadership of Dr. Cheng Liu, the Founder and CEO of Estrella. Its common stock and warrants will be traded on NASDAQ under the symbols "ESLA" and "ESLAW" starting from October 2, 2023.

Around October 2, 2023, all remaining UPTD units will separate into their underlying components, consisting of one share of the combined company's common stock and one-half of one warrant. This merger received approval from UPTD's stockholders during a special meeting held on July 31, 2023.

Before finalizing the merger, Estrella secured gross proceeds of $9.75 million through Series A preferred stock financings and $0.30 million through short-term debt financing. Concurrently, UPTD closed a private placement of its common stock, generating gross proceeds of $10.00 million. When considering UPTD stockholder redemptions and excluding transaction and offering expenses, the combined entity now holds approximately $23.11 million in available cash.

Dr. Cheng Liu, President and CEO of Estrella, expressed enthusiasm for the merger, stating, "We are pleased to close this transaction and are committed to the continued advancement of our clinical programs. Our anti-CD19 ARTEMIS T-cell therapy holds the potential to enhance patient outcomes while reducing the risk of Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). This marks a significant advancement in blood cancer treatment management."

Mr. Weiguang Yang, Co-CEO of UPTD, added, "We are excited to have completed our Business Combination with Estrella, a company dedicated to addressing unmet medical needs. With this additional capital and the support of their highly experienced team, Estrella is well poised to progress their pipeline programs into clinical trials and create long-term value for shareholders. Together, we eagerly anticipate Estrella's development of their innovative therapeutics."

The financial advisor for UPTD was US Tiger Securities, Inc., while Robinson & Cole LLP served as the legal advisor to UPTD. Estrella was represented by Winston & Strawn LLP as their legal advisor.

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