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OS Acquisition pulls out

Illustration of a health plus with darts all around it, as if they've missed the target.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

OS Acquisition, a health tech SPAC led by OS Fund's Jeff Klunzinger, on Wednesday withdrew registration for a $150 million IPO.

Why it matters: The withdrawal is yet another reflection of the 180-degree turn in the market that once had a spate of exuberant digital health companies file to go public and is now racked with cancellations and delistings.

Catch up quick: OS Acquisition filed in March 2021 to raise $150 million by offering 15 million units at $10, with each unit containing one share of common stock and one-third of a warrant.

  • The Park Ridge, Illinois-based company planned to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol OSAAU with Citi as sole bookrunner and to acquire a health tech company, per Renaissance Capital.
  • In addition to Klunzinger, the business would be led by CFO and OS Fund partner Mark Ghobrial.

Zoom in: Health tech founder Bryan Johnson created OS Fund in 2014 with $100 million of his own investment funds, and a host of Klunzinger-backed startups that met the investment thesis that biology is a programmable form of technology, much like other operating systems.

  • Its portfolio companies span genomics, synthetic biology, therapeutics, materials and diagnostics.
  • That includes Bill Gates-backed Ginkgo Bioworks, which SPAC'ed its way to the public markets last year with a total market cap of more than $17 billion, and Synthego, a Peter Thiel-backed developer of plug-and-play Crispr kits for researchers.
  • Johnson is also the founder of brain machine interface developer Kernel.

Of note: The SPAC market took another recent hit in the form of a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks, as introduced by the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • SPAC liquidations is where the tax could be most acutely felt. With too many blank-check companies chasing too few targets, we're likely to see liquidations — and withdrawals — continue.

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