OmniAb Announces Completion of Demerger and Business Combination



EMERYVILLE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–OmniAb, Inc. (NASDAQ: OABI) today announced the completion of the planned non-taxable spin-off of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) and resulting business combination with Avista Public Acquisition Corp. II (NASDAQ: AHPA), making OmniAb an independent, publicly traded company. Based on actual redemptions and estimated transaction expenses, OmniAb expects to have approximately $95 million in cash at closing. OmniAb will begin regular trading on November 2, 2022 on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “OABI”.

“The OmniAb Discovery Platform is the culmination of years of scientific discovery and innovation gathered and advanced by a dedicated team of talented scientists,” said Matt Foehr, President and CEO. “As an independent, publicly traded company, OmniAb will continue to discover and innovate as we focus on our mission to push the frontiers of drug discovery technologies and enable our partners to rapidly develop innovative therapies.

OmniAb management update

Along with the transaction, OmniAb also announced key management and board appointments. OmniAb is led by an experienced team of industry veterans complemented by recent additions with significant experience in building companies and developing cutting-edge technologies.

“In anticipation of this transaction, we have assembled a world-class management team at OmniAb,” said Mr. Foehr. “In addition to our stellar scientific leaders, many of whom have worked at OmniAb for several years, I am delighted to be joined by Kurt Gustafson as Chief Financial Officer and Charles Berkman as Chief Legal Officer.”

Kurt Gustafson joined OmniAb as Chief Financial Officer in March 2022 in preparation for the spin-off and business combination. Mr. Gustafson was previously executive vice president and chief financial officer of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Spectrum, he served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Halozyme Therapeutics, responsible for finance, information technology, facilities and human resources. Previously, Mr. Gustafson worked at Amgen for more than 18 years, holding positions such as Treasurer, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Amgen International in Switzerland. Mr. Gustafson is a director of Xencor, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. He holds a BA in Accounting from North Park University and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Charles Berkman has served as OmniAb’s Chief Legal Officer since March 2022 in preparation for the spin-off and business combination. Mr. Berkman previously held various positions of increasing responsibility at Ligand, most recently as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Prior to joining Ligand, Mr. Berkman was a lawyer with the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. Previously, he was a lawyer at Lyon & Lyon, where he specialized in intellectual property law. Mr. Berkman holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Texas and a JD from the University of Texas School of Law.

OmniAb Board Update

Concurrent with the completion of OmniAb’s spin-off, former Ligand directors Jennifer Cochran, Ph.D., Sarah Boyce and Sunil Patel, and current Ligand director and CEO John Higgins have joined the board. administration of OmniAb. Carolyn Bertozzi, Ph.D., Joshua Tamaroff and Matt Foehr were also appointed, bringing the number of OmniAb directors to seven.

“Several former members of the Ligand Board of Directors have been deeply involved in building the OmniAb business over the past few years and will continue to provide valuable insights to the OmniAb team,” said John Higgins, President of OmniAb. “Furthermore, the appointment of Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi brings an immense wealth of knowledge in translating cutting-edge innovation into practical application, evidenced by several prestigious awards, most recently the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. We also look forward to continuing our relationship with Avista Capital Partners and leveraging their expertise in building differentiated businesses as OmniAb continues to execute on its growth plan.

Dr. Bertozzi has worked at Stanford University since 2015 as the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and Radiology and Co-Director of the Baker Family of Stanford ChEM-H. Dr. Bertozzi has also been a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2000. Prior to Stanford, she was a professor of chemistry and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bertozzi was previously a director of Eli Lilly and Company. She holds an AB summa cum laude in Chemistry from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Bertozzi was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 2022 Wolf Prize in Chemistry.

Mr. Tamaroff joined Avista Capital Partners (Avista) in 2009 and is currently a partner. Prior to joining Avista, Mr. Tamaroff worked as an analyst in the leveraged finance group at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. Mr. Tamaroff is currently a director of Cosette Pharmaceuticals, GCM Holding Corporation, Probo Medical, Solmetex and United BioSource Corporation, and previously served as a director of InvestorPlace Media, IWCO Direct, OptiNose, Organogenesis Holdings and WideOpenWest. Mr. Tamaroff holds a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Fellow.

Please visit for more information on the spin-off, business combination and management updates, including links to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. United States.

About OmniAb®

OmniAb’s discovery platform provides pharmaceutical industry partners with access to diverse antibody repertoires and high-throughput screening technologies to enable the discovery of next-generation therapies. At the heart of the OmniAb platform is Biological Intelligence (BI) of our proprietary transgenic animals, including OmniRat, OmniChicken and OmniMouse, which have been genetically engineered to generate antibodies with human sequences to facilitate the development of human therapeutic candidates. OmniFlic (transgenic rat) and OmniClic (transgenic chicken) address industry needs for bispecific antibody applications through a common light chain approach, and OmniTaur features unique structural attributes of cow antibodies for complex targets. We believe OmniAb animals comprise the most diverse host systems available in the industry and are optimally exploited through computational antigen design and immunization methods, coupled with B-cell phenotypic screening. unique high-throughput and extraction of next-generation sequencing datasets with custom algorithms to identify fully human antibodies with superior performance and developability characteristics. An established core competency focused on ion channels and transporters further differentiates our technology and creates opportunities in emerging target classes. OmniAb antibodies have been exploited in all modalities, including bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, and others. The OmniAb suite of technologies spans from BI-based repertoire generation to cutting-edge antibody discovery and optimization, delivering a highly efficient and customizable end-to-end solution for the growing discovery needs of the world. global pharmaceutical industry.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains OmniAb’s forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties and reflect OmniAb’s judgment as of the date of this release. Words such as “anticipates”, “believes”, “expects”, “anticipates” and “will”, and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include: the tax consequences of the transaction; estimated transaction fees; OmniAb’s cash position; the ability to successfully discover, innovate and develop advanced therapies and technologies; and anticipated contributions from the management team and board of directors. Actual events or results may differ from OmniAb’s expectations due to risks and uncertainties inherent in OmniAb’s business, including, without limitation: the anticipated tax treatment of the transaction is not obtained; OmniAb partners may discontinue or change their strategy or the direction of their development efforts with respect to partnered programs; OmniAb depends on the development and commercialization of products from its partners which may prove less successful than expected; ; the costs and challenges of transitioning to a self-sustaining open society; OmniAb’s recent revenues have depended on a limited number of partners; the ability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms, if necessary; and other risks described in OmniAb’s prior press releases and Securities and Exchange Commission filings available at OmniAb disclaims any intention or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this release. This warning is made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

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