Starton Therapeutics has cancelled a business combination deal with special purpose acquisition company Healthwell Acquisition with immediate effect.

The parties entered a definitive agreement in April 2023. Healthwell subsidiary HWEL Holdings agreed to acquire Starton and become a publicly traded company.

This deal was terminated after the criteria for closure of the initial merger and further amendments were neither met nor waived by 3 November 2023.

Starton Therapeutics chairman and CEO Pedro Lichtinger stated: “Over the last several months, Starton has taken significant, critical steps forward in its clinical development. 

“We will work diligently to ensure we continue to drive our clinical efforts to meet the completion of this landmark study. 

“We believe we are well-positioned to capitalise on this momentum to bring forth the power of continuous delivery technology to enhance therapeutic treatment for the betterment of patients.”

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The clinical-stage biotechnology platform company leverages continuous delivery technology to update existing standard-of-care cancer treatments. 

Starton’s transdermal technology can enhance approved drugs’ efficacy, making them more tolerable and potentially useable for other indications. 

It recently launched the Phase Ib STAR-LLD clinical trial in multiple myeloma patients and dosed the first subject in October 2023. 

The trial will analyse the efficacy and safety of improved delivery of lenalidomide for six to 18 months.