Announcing Lux Health Tech Acquisition Corp.— enabling the public transformation of Health + Tech platform companies
By Peter Hébert & Josh Wolfe
We’re pleased to unveil Lux’s newest investment vehicle, Lux Health Tech Acquisition Corp., a $345M special purpose acquisition company, which begins trading on the Nasdaq [LUXAU] this morning. We formed Lux Health Tech for the purpose of entering into a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses at the intersection of the healthcare and technology industries. In plain speak: we believe the time is now to take public and build generational technology companies that will have a profound positive impact on healthcare.
Our partners in this endeavor include long-standing public market collaborators (i.e. multi-billion-dollar fundamental hedge funds and crossover investors), as well as many of our own Limited Partners. Lux is not only sponsoring the acquisition vehicle, but our funds will also commit fresh capital to invest alongside the business combination. We and our partners see this as an extremely attractive investment opportunity at the outset of a secular shift in technology and healthcare.
As we shared in our Health + Tech investment thesis several weeks ago, we hold a fundamental belief that the most compelling invention and innovation occurs at the edges of multiple technical disciplines. We are confident that the coming years will witness a new crop of historically important public healthcare technology companies that more closely resemble the tech mega-caps of today: platform-based innovation, highly scalable business models, network effects, high impact, and high value creation.
Change in our healthcare system is inevitable. The United States spent more than $3.6T — nearly 20% of our GDP — on healthcare in 2018, and we are on pace to spend more than $6T on healthcare before the end of this decade. Despite superior expenditure, health outcomes in the United States are not superior to those of other developed countries.
Casual observation is not enough. We need concerted efforts from innovators to make meaningful change. We aim to catalyze change — by bringing companies with innovative breakthroughs and outsized impact on healthcare to the public market, where performance will be rewarded and value will be created and compound for years to come.
We are honored to have brought together visionary entrepreneurs, inventors, executives, doctors and investors who share our belief that the time for change is now. In addition to the extended Lux team, we are joined by the following experienced officers and directors:
- Josh DeFonzo, Lux Health Tech CEO and Director; former President at Johnson & Johnson (Robotics & Digital Solutions), former Chief Operating Officer of Auris Health (sold to JNJ for up to $6B), and former Chief Commercial Officer of CareDx (NASDAQ: CDNA).
- Fred Moll, MD, Director; an experienced executive in the medical technology industry, and co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Auris Health prior to the company being acquired by Johnson & Johnson. He is currently Chief Development Officer for Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies. He is the co-founder of several companies, including Hansen Medical, Intuitive Surgical, EndoTherapeutics, and Origin MedSystems. Dr. Moll currently serves on the board of directors of IntersectENT and Shockwave Medical.
- Senator Joseph Robert “Bob” Kerrey, Director; managing director of the investment banking firm Allen & Company, past President of the New School and has served as U.S. Senator from Nebraska and as Governor of Nebraska. Senator Kerrey is also the lead director of Tenet Healthcare Corporation and is a board member of three private companies: Imagen, Intarcia, and Monolith Energy. He is also a former member of the board of directors of Auris Health.
- Bijan Salehizadeh, MD, Director; an experienced investor in medical technology and the co-founder and managing director of healthcare private equity firm NaviMed Capital. He is a former general partner of Highland Capital Partners, a former executive of Medtronic and a former member of the boards of directors of Auris Health and Hyperion Therapeutics, which was acquired by Horizon Therapeutics.
For more on Lux Health Tech Acquisition Corporation’s purpose, see the letter from our team below from the S-1:
A LETTER FROM OUR TEAM
At Lux, we partner with iconoclastic inventors challenging the status quo and the laws of nature to bring their futuristic ideas to life. We make long-term bets on contrarians and outsiders. We believe the next generation of industrialist titans will be scientists, technologists and inventors.
Lux backs mission-driven entrepreneurs who possess an exceedingly rare intellect, a creative imagination and a radical vision. They are driven by the notion that science is the great equalizer. They thrive in chaos. They are extraordinarily resilient. They work and play with knife-wielding robots, deadly lasers and contagious bacteria.
Our goal is to accelerate the widespread adoption of the most promising creations. We make big bets on scientific and technological breakthroughs that have the potential for truly radical change. Counter-conventional ideas are our specialty.
We rely on the wisdom and energy of entrepreneurs — not politicians. We are long on human ingenuity, not government rationality. Beyond the macro trends, we’re most optimistic about technology as a means of progress because of the fervent, determined, ambitious, adaptable, and purposeful founders. Darwin is misquoted: it is not the survival of the fittest but of the most adaptable, who can excel amidst unknowable futures and rapidly changing situations.
We contend the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. Our raison d’etre, our purpose, is the profitable pursuit of distributing that future — from the concentrated minds of our nation’s top entrepreneurs and scientists at leading research institutions — to customers throughout the world — to public shareholders who will participate in value and wealth creation. Lux has a strong 20-year track record, with more than 130 active investments, that will provide Lux Health + Tech with a pronounced advantage in accessing the highest quality management teams and acquisition opportunities across healthcare and technology.
We also contend that big problems need big breakthroughs. Solving the most pressing challenges facing the healthcare industry requires bringing new, science-based breakthroughs and innovations to market. We invest in transformative companies that bridge multiple disciplines. The problems they address are often life-threatening and industry-defining with enormous global market opportunities. The innovators and inventors who crack the scientific code to address these problems will create indispensable products, open new markets, disrupt incumbents, and build a new wave of multi-billion dollar platforms.
We believe: matter matters. The innovations that grow economies are the atoms of deep technology, derived from breakthroughs in physics, biology, chemistry, electronics, materials, engineering and computation.
While making predictions about the future is often a futile exercise, we hold that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. And the people inventing the future are the very innovators, scientists and business builders that Lux finds, funds and fosters.
We are relatively indifferent to short-term vicissitudes and volatility of the market and long on the inexhaustible forces of human ingenuity and long-term technological trends.
While running with the herd for most of our evolutionary past ensured survival, in modern investing it ensures mediocrity. Lux seeks a variant perception — a differing view. If we can’t figure out where the herd is wrong, what they’re missing, or why they’re ignoring what we see, then we know we risk sitting at the poker table unable to spot the patsy. By having a variant perception, we can establish crucial relationships with critical thought leaders and visionaries. And this is why we believe the opportunity exists for Lux Health + Tech to thrive — finding the most attractive high-growth investment at the intersection of healthcare and cutting edge technology.
Our name, “Lux,” is Latin for light. As in: we strive to shine a light on the unknown, the unseen and the misunderstood. It is in those dark places where you make the most meaningful discoveries. It’s also where we want to shine a spotlight on the technology and technologists making the most meaningful discoveries.
Although there can be no assurance that we will acquire a company that meets all of the above criteria, including because we are not limited to evaluating target businesses in the healthcare and technology industries as discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus on page 34, we expect this offering will enable us to creatively partner with a high-quality, high-growth company, bring it into the public light, and more purposefully drive significant impact.
Peter Hébert & Josh Wolfe
Co-Founders and Managing Partners, Lux Capital