WINSTON-SALEM – ProKidney, an emerging entrepreneurial life science company targeting kidney disease, is planning to go public through a merger with California-based Social Capital Suvretta Holdings and will become a company estimated to be valued at more than $2.6 billion with $825 million in cash.

The merger, which was announced early Tuesday, combines ProKidney and Social Capital through a so-called SPAC merger. Social Capital Suvretta is already traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol DNAC.

Tim Bertram, founder and CEO of ProKidney, says the merger opens the way for the seven-year-old company to combat kidney disease globally.

“Affecting more than 75 million patients in the United States and the European Union alone, [chronic kidney disease] CKD is one of the most challenging and burdensome chronic conditions to treat. For the first time, we have a multimodal approach to not only slow the onset of CKD, but in some cases reverse the loss of the kidney’s function. Through our advancements in cellular therapies, ProKidney can help usher in a new era of better health for millions of CKD patients living with the fear of kidney failure and a life on dialysis,” he said in the announcement.

“With the support of the Social Capital Suvretta team, we are excited to enter this critical next stage of our journey, bringing the promise and potential of our revolutionary React therapy to market and improving the wellbeing of people around the world,” Bertram added.

The firm has developed the React therapy which the company says “has received Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (“RMAT”) designation, as well as U.S. FDA and European Medicines Agency guidance, for its Phase 3 clinical program.”

A Phase 3 clinical trial began this month. ProKidney describes its treatment as “a first-of-its-kind, patented disease-modifying autologous cell therapy for treatment of chronic kidney disease.”

Social Capital is providing $125 million in capital and existing ProKidney investors are adding $50 million. Other investors are pouring in another $400 million to help fund the Phase 3 trial and “accelerating manufacturing buildout” as well as prepare for “global commercial launch.”

Some 15% of American adults combat chronic kidney disease, ProKidney pointed out.

“While conducting the Phase 3 development program, ProKidney will build a launch facility program with manufacturing capabilities initially targeting supply for 20,000 patients per year,” the company noted.

“Post launch, ProKidney plans to build additional manufacturing facilities with the ability to serve an additional 40,000 to 45,000 patients per year.”

ProKidney already has a GMP [good manufacturing practice] manufacturing facility.