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Human Longevity to Go Public Through $345M SPAC Merger

NEW YORK – Personalized health intelligence and concierge medicine firm Human Longevity (HLI) said on Tuesday that it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to go public by merging with special purpose acquisition company Freedom Acquisition I.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, which would result in HLI being listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the new company would receive $345 million from Freedom's trust account, assuming no Freedom shareholders exercise redemption rights. HLI and Freedom also claimed the transaction values the proposed combined company at approximately $1 billion.

The firms said they expect to sign the deal by Q3 and close the deal by Q1 2023.

"HLI is led by a management team of exceptional quality who have built the leading artificial intelligence-enabled health intelligence platform in the US with the opportunity to scale it internationally, addressing the significant opportunity that exists for all to extend their heathy human lifespan," Freedom Executive Chairman Tidjane Thiam said in a statement. "The HLI proposition is attractive to individuals, insurance companies, and many healthcare stakeholders, providing great opportunities for sustained, long-term growth."

HLI was cofounded in 2013 by Craig Venter, former CEO of Celera and a key figure in the competition to sequence most of the human genome around the turn of the millennium. The San Diego-based firm said it has invested over $500 million in technologies to detect disease earlier and extend human lifespans.

The company offers memberships to individuals who receive a variety of health-related tests, including whole-genome sequencing, analyses of blood-based biomarkers, whole-body imaging, and bone and muscle strength analyses. They also get advice from a physician "to help them establish and navigate their personalized longevity roadmap built on their unique genome, biology, lifestyle, and longevity vision," according to HLI.

It announced raising $220 million in Series B financing in 2016 from Illumina, Celgene, GE Ventures, and others, following its $80 million Series A financing round closed in 2014. It raised an additional $30 million in 2019.

HLI acquired informatics firm Cypher Genomics in 2015 and Celgene's stem cell banking in 2016, both for undisclosed sums. It sold its oncology division in 2020 to NeoGenomics for $37 million.

The firm has also partnered with Merck KGaA on cancer biomarkers.

Venter left the company acrimoniously in 2017. The firm sued him in 2018, alleging theft of trade secrets, but the case was dismissed.

"This is an exciting development for HLI and should allow the company to expand its influence in changing how medicine is practiced," Venter said in a statement. "I am proud of what HLI has accomplished to date and look forward to an exciting future."

According to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Freedom consummated its initial public offering on March 2, 2021, generating gross proceeds of $345 million. The firm has issued two unsecured promissory notes for a total of $1 million.

"There can be no assurance that a definitive agreement will be entered into or that the proposed transaction will be consummated," the firms added in a statement.