uniQure (QURE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb to Collaborate on Gene Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease

Shares of uniQure N.V. (QURE) were trading up +9.75 or +42.65 percent to $32.61 per share in Monday's premarket after news that the company had entered into an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) giving the company exclusive access to uniQure's gene therapy platform to treat cardiovascular diseases. uniQure stock closed at $22.86 per share, down -0.675 or -2.87 percent in Thursday's regular trading session.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands based uniQure N.V.
is the first and only company currently approved in the European Union to receive regulatory approval to conduct research and development in the field of gene therapy. Through a series of multiple collaborations, both internally and with other companies, uniQure is developing a pipeline of adeno-associated virus-based gene therapies using their state-of-the-art modular technology platform, which includes the company's proprietary manufacturing process. uniQure recently acquired InoCard, a company specializing in cardiology gene therapy and has taken the next step in developing gene therapies that target chronic and degenerative diseases affecting larger populations.

The agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb will have Bristol make near term payments of about $100 million, which includes an upfront payment of $50 million at the close of the transaction and a $15 million payment for a selection of three collaboration targets. In addition, an S100A1 (calcium binding protein) will be made within three months after the close of the transaction and an initial equity investment in uniQure which will equal 4.9 percent of total shares outstanding after the issuance at a price of $33.84 per share, or a minimum of $32 million.

Bristol will acquire an additional 5.0 percent ownership before December 31st, 2015 and granted two warrants to acquire an additional 10 percent equity interest at a premium to be based on additional targets introduced into the collaboration. The companies also agreed to a supply contract, which will have uniQure undertake the manufacture of all gene therapy products in the collaboration.

uniQure will receive development and regulatory milestone payments and as much as $254 million for the lead S100A1 therapy and up to $217 million for each additional gene therapy product potentially developed under the collaboration. In addition, uniQure will also be eligible for net sales milestone payments which will be tiered to royalties on the sale of the products.

Professor Dr. Patrick Most, Managing Director of uniQure Germany, which was formerly known as InoCard, stated in the company's press release that, "It is immensely exciting to see the potential of our initial discoveries recognized first by uniQure and then advanced to a stage where we can build a portfolio of gene therapies to treat cardiovascular disease in partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb, I would like to thank my colleagues in Heidelberg, Amsterdam and Lexington, Massachusetts for the teamwork that has contributed to bringing the lead S100A1 therapeutic closer to helping patients.

uniQure stock is reacting favorably to the news, gaining significantly in this morning's premarket. In addition to the news of the collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, the company also announced better than expected fourth quarter and full year 2014 results.

Other News About QURE

uniQure Reports Q4 Earnings from Licensing, Collaboration Sales 1.5M, FY14 Loss of 2.16/Share

uniQure reported an increase of +62.1 percent in revenues and an operating loss of - 33.8 million for the full year.

uniQure Announces Webcast to Discuss Bristol-Myers Squibb Collaboration

Company will hold a conference call today at 8:30 EDT.

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Published on Apr 6, 2015
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2020. Content published with author's permission.

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