AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) Stock: Gaining On Asset Sale


AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ: AEZS) is having an overwhelmingly strong start to the trading session this morning, and for good reason. The company announced an asset sale that has been made with Strongbridge Biopharma plc (SBBP). Today, we’ll talk about the asset sale, what we’re seeing from the stock, and what we’ll be watching for with regard to AEZS ahead.

AEZS Gains On Asset Sale

As mentioned above, AEterna Zentaris is having an overwhelmingly strong start to the trading session this morning, after announcing an asset sale. In a press release issued early this morning, the company announced the sale of assets to Strongbridge Biopharma.

In the release, AEZS announced that it has sold the United States and Canadian rights to MACRILENTM (macimorelin). The treatment is approved in the United States for patients with adult growth hormone deficiency, an ailment that affects about 60,000 adults in the United States and Canada.

Under the terms of the agreement, SBBP has agreed to make an upfront payment of $24 million to AEZS. Also, SBBP will pay tiered royalties in the mid-to-high teens as a percentage of net sales as well as milestone payments upon FDA approval of a pediatric indication and the achievement of predetermined sales levels. In a statement, Matthew Pauls, President and CEO at SBBP, had the following to offer about the agreement with AEZS:

“We are extremely proud to acquire the U.S. and Canadian rights to MACRILEN, the first and only oral drug approved in the U.S. to diagnose adult growth hormone deficiency, or AGHD. MACRILEN has Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. and was developed to address important unmet needs in the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of adult growth hormone deficiency, a condition that we believe is too often under-recognized or misdiagnosed, in part because of the lack of accurate, convenient and safe diagnostic procedures… The acquisition of MACRILEN builds upon our rare endocrine disease franchise and establishes our commercial presence in the space, marking an important step forward for Strongbridge’s overall growth and evolution. Importantly, this transaction occurs prior to the potential regulatory approval and market introduction of RECORLEV™ (levoketoconazole), currently in Phase 3 for endogenous Cushing’s syndrome, a condition often treated by the same endocrinologists who diagnose and treat AGHD,”

What We’re Seeing From The Stock

As investors, one of the first things that we learn is that the news moves the market. Any time positive news is released by a publicly-traded company, we can expect to see gains in the stock that is representative of the company. That’s exactly what we’re seeing from AEZS today. Currently (10:11), AEZS is trading at $2.67 per share after a gain of $0.60 per share (28.99%) thus far today.

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on AEZS. In particular, we’re interested in following this deal through the close. We’re also interested in following the company’s ongoing development with regard to its impressive pipeline. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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