The shares of Uniqure NV are surging on its partnership agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb. The stock price of Uniqure is up nearly 47% to $33.60 per share at the time of this writing, around 12:42 A.M. in New York.
On the other hand, the shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb gained slightly by 0.25% to $63.39 per share.
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Detail of the partnership agreement
Under the partnership agreement, Uniqure will provide Bristol-Myers Squibb exclusive access to its gene therapy technology platform for multiple targets in cardiovascular diseases.
Uniqure and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s collaboration also includes proprietary gene therapy program for congestive heart failure. The companies intend to restore the ability of the heart to synthesize S100A1, a calcium sensor and master regulator of heart function, thus improving the clinical outcomes for patients with reduced ejection fraction,
In addition, the agreement between Uniqure and Bristol-Myers Squibb include the potential for target-exclusive partnership in other disease areas (as much as ten targets including S100A1).
Bristol Myers-Squibb will make near-term payments of approximately $100 million including an upfront payment of $50 million following the closing of the transaction.
Three months after the closing of the deal, Bristol-Myers Squibb will also make a payment of $15 million for the selection of three collaboration targets in addition to S100A1. It will also make approximately $32 million equity investment in Uniqure, which will represent 4.9% of its outstanding shares,
Bristol-Myers Squibb will purchase additional 5% stake in Uniqure before December 31, 2015 at a 10% premium. It will obtain two warrants to acquire as much as 10% equity interest at a premium based on additional targets introduced in the partnership.
Uniqure will be eligible to receive research, development and regulatory milestone payments, including up to $254 million for the lead S100A1 therapeutic. It is also entitled to receive as much as $217 million for ever other gene therapy product potentially developed under the collaboration
Uniqure will lead discovery efforts using its vector technologies
Uniqure will be responsible for leading discovery efforts and manufacturing of clinical and commercial supplies. The company will use its vector technologies, industrial, proprietary insect-cell based manufacturing platform.
Uniqure CEO Joern Aldag said, “This collaboration will accelerate the application of gene therapy for large patient populations suffering from heart diseases and will complement the further development of uniQure’s internal pipeline in two focus areas: liver diseases, including hemophilia, and CNS, including lysosomal storage diseases.”
Bristol-Myers Squibb will lead the development & regulatory activities
On the other hand, Bristol-Myers Squibb will be leading the development and regulatory activities across all programs. It will be responsible for all research and development costs. It will handle the commercialization of all the products from the partnership.
In a statement, Carl Decicco, Ph.D., Head of Discovery, R&D at Bristol-Myers Squibb said Uniqure is a clear leader in the cardiovascular field with innovative and validated gene therapy platform. Collaborating with the company will further strengthen the capability of Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop and transformational new therapeutics for difficult-to-treat diseases such as heart failure.
He also emphasized that Bristol-Myers Squibb has an “excellent and long-standing track record of success in discovering and developing treatments for cardiovascular diseases and in embracing advancing technologies for the treatment of human diseases.