Axovant Sciences Ltd (NASDAQ: AXON) is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session this morning after the company announced licensing news. Of course, the news proved to be a source of excitement for investors, sending the stock screaming for the top. Today, we’ll talk about:
- The licensing news;
- what we’re seeing from AXON as a result; and
- what we’ll be watching for with regard to the stock ahead.
AXON Announces Licensing Deals
As mentioned above, Axovant Sciences is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session this morning after announcing licensing news. In a press release issued early this morning, the company announced that it has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize OXB-102 from Oxford BioMedica. Along with the licensing deal, AXON will change the name of the treatment to AXO-Lenti-PD. The treatment is an investigational gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease that delivers three genes encoding a critical set of enzymes required for dopamine synthesis in the brain.
According to the terms of the agreement, AXON has obtained all rights to AXO-Lenti-PD as well as ProSavin®, a predecessor to AXO-Lenti-PD. The deal came with an initial payment to Oxford BioMedica in the amount of $30 million cash. In the future, Oxford BioMedica is eligible to receive additional payments based on development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, which could add up to more than $812 million. Also, if the treatment is approved, tiered royalties on net sales will be paid. In a statement, Pavan Ceruvu, MD, CEO at AXON, had the following to offer:
Axovant remains committed to developing innovative treatments for serious neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, and we are excited to partner with Oxford BioMedica, a recognized global leader in cell and gene therapy. We are also pleased to welcome Fraser to our leadership team. He brings over two decades of experience in gene therapy manufacturing, and will be committed to building world-class gene therapy capabilities at Axovant. We will continue to pursue promising new therapeutic approaches based on transformative science, and will further expand our pipeline with high-quality assets like AXO-Lenti-PD. This is part of our long-term goal of building Axovant into a leader in the development and commercialization of innovative new medicines for neurological indications.
What We’re Seeing From The Stock
One of the first lessons that we learn when we start to dig into the market is that the news causes moves. In the case of Axovant Sciences, the news proved to be overwhelmingly positive. With the licensing agreement, the company now has a new, promising product under its belt. Of course, the news excited investors sending the stock screaming fo the top. As is normally the case, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the gains. At the moment (9:49), AXON is trading at $3.78 per share after a gain of $2.03 per share (116.00%) 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 AXON. In particular, we’re interested in following the story surrounding the company’s new product, AXO-Lenti-PD, and excited to learn more about the opportunity this product creates. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!
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