ACG San Diego | M&A as Fundraising for San Diego Life Science Companies: The Cend Therapeutics and Caladrius Biosciences Transaction


Event Details


November 15, 2022 8 AM - 10 AM PST

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The Life Sciences industry is a major driver of San Diego’s innovation economy, accounting for over $33B in total economic impact. This DealStory will focus on the recent "merger of equals" agreement between San Diego-based Cend Therapeutics and Caladrius Biosciences. This strategic merger created a financially sound company with a diverse product development pipeline, providing the financial ability to scale, and a collaborative leadership team perfectly aligned with identical visions for future growth.
Join us to learn the stepping stones of how this all-stock transaction was made possible, from its humble early stage at Sanford Burnham, to what ultimately led to the development of a new publicly traded company. Along with its leading-edge product offerings, the icing on the cake for Founder Erkki Ruoslahti was receiving the prestigious Lasker Award, the US version of the Nobel Prize, in September.
Key Takeaways:
  • How can M&A serve as an alternative fundraising vehicle to an IPO?
  • How is the San Diego life sciences community on the leading edge of oncology therapeutics?
  • How did the merger of Cend and Caladrius bring together a diverse product pipeline with robust clinical trial resources?
  • Paul Johnson | Partner, Procopio
  • David Slack | President & CEO, Cend Therapeutics


Paul Johnson, Procopio

Paul Johnson


Paul helps entrepreneurs and their investors get companies formed, funded and sold, including initial formation of corporations and LLCs, negotiation of seed, early and mid-stage equity financings and buy and sell-side mergers and acquisitions. He is also adept at venture capital investments, public and private securities offering and compliance and general business counseling. Paul has also counseled some of San Diego’s most successful companies in Securities and Exchange Commission compliance and general corporate governance.

David Slack, Cend Therapeutics

David Slack

Cend Therapeutics
President & CEO

Mr. Slack is an industry veteran with over 25 years’ experience in public and private biotech as well as large pharmaceutical companies. He has been responsible for numerous company financings, strategic alliances and other partnerships. He joined the Cend Therapeutics’ Board in October 2019 and was appointed President and CEO in June 2020. Most recently, David served as co-founding Chief Business Officer at Viracta Therapeutics. Previously, David served as Vice President for Business Development at leading antisense drug company, Ionis Pharmaceuticals. David served in senior management positions as Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, RPR Gencell and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.

Event Secondary Body


  • ACG San Diego Annual Sponsors: $30
  • ACG San Diego Members: $30
  • Members of Other ACG Chapters: $30
  • Non-Members & Guests: $95

(Chapter Members whose membership dues still include the cost of this breakfast meeting will receive a discount code via email to be applied at checkout.)

Questions? Contact Executive Director Mike Lasher at or


Please Note: Your registration for this event acts as an audio/video release and includes your permission for ACG San Diego to use your image and comments captured on audio, video or photographic formats while attending the event for marketing and promotional purposes. For further information please contact: Mike Lasher - ACG San Diego Executive Director @ or 619 741 7247.

Hosted by: ACG
San Diego