Arbutus Biopharma (ABUS) Stock: Why The Price Jumped Today

By Amit Chowdhry ● Dec 7, 2021
  • The stock price of Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS) increased by over 10% during intraday trading today. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS) increased by over 10% during intraday trading today. Investors are responding positively to Arbutus Biopharma, X-Chem, Inc. (X-Chem), and Proteros biostructures GmbH (Proteros) announcing today that Arbutus Biopharma has identified several molecules that inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 main protease (Mpro), a validated target for the treatment of COVID-19 and potential future coronavirus outbreaks. 

Following the achievement of this milestone, as part of their discovery and research agreement, Arbutus has obtained a worldwide exclusive license to the identified molecules. And the parties will continue to accelerate the development of pan-coronavirus agents to treat COVID-19 and potential future coronavirus outbreaks.

In connection with the achievement of this development milestone, Arbutus obtained a worldwide exclusive license to the identified small molecule inhibitors. And in exchange for that license, Arbutus shall make a milestone payment to X-Chem and Proteros.

In April 2021, Arbutus, X-Chem, and Proteros entered into a discovery research and license agreement focused on the discovery of novel inhibitors targeting the SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 main protease. And this collaboration brings together Arbutus’ expertise in the discovery and development of antiviral agents with X-Chem’s industry-leading DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology and Proteros’ protein sciences, biophysics, and structural biology capabilities and provides important synergies to potentially identify safe and effective therapies against coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2.

KEY QUOTE:

“Our goal with this collaboration was to identify unique and differentiated pan-coronavirus assets targeting the main coronavirus protease which could deliver a much-needed oral antiviral treatment for SARS-CoV-2 and any potential future coronavirus outbreaks. To have identified small molecule inhibitors that are potent and selective against Mpro just six months after commencing this collaboration demonstrates the importance Arbutus, Proteros and X-Chem are placing on quickly developing effective and safe therapies to successfully combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to have achieved this important milestone and to move this program forward into the lead optimization stage.”

— Dr. Michael Sofia, Arbutus’s Chief Scientific Officer

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