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Shareholders Approve Merger of GC LabCell, GC Cell

GC LabCell and GC Cell announced that their merger plan would go as planned, drawing attention to how it will affect the cell therapy market.

In a regulatory filing, the two companies said that their shareholders approved the merger at a meeting on Monday.

The merger date is set for Nov. 1, and the surviving company after the merger is GC LabCell.

Each share of GC Cell will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 0.4023542 shares of GC LabCell.

The combined company will be newly listed on Nov. 17.

The merged company's name will be GC Cell, which will have more than 20 anticancer cell therapy pipelines and 120 researchers.

The two companies anticipate that GC LabCell's cell therapy research capacity and GC Cell's manufacturing skills will create synergy effects.

The new company can secure all related pipelines in the immune cell therapy sector, where the two companies have been jointly developing T-cell, NK-cell, CAR-T, and CAR-NK treatments.

The merger deal also raises prospects for a cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business.

According to Frost & Sullivan, a market research firm, the cell therapy CDMO market is expected to grow more than five folds from $680 million in 2020 to $3.7 billion in 2025.

The merged company will aim to secure competitiveness based on the nation's largest cell therapy manufacturing facility and the experience of commercializing ImmuneCell-LC, the top-selling immunotherapy in Korea.

GC Cell's Cell Center, located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, boasts the world's largest cell therapy production.

Cell Center has 10 “clean rooms” where cells are produced and cultured. The world's No. 1 and No. 2 cell therapy makers Lonza and WuXi Biologics operate 11 and 12 clean rooms, respectively.

GC Cell will also speed up collaboration with large pharmaceutical firms or licensing deals by leveraging its U.S. affiliate Artiva and Novacel.

“Through a successful establishment of a merged company, we will expand new pipelines and create synergy with existing business, and become a global cell therapy leader,” said Park Dae-woo, CEO of GC LabCell.

“Through the merger, we will be able to build a 'full value chain' by combining the specialized capabilities of the two companies related to the cell therapy business,” said Lee Deuk-joo, CEO of GC Cell.