AstraZeneca Stock (AZN): Why The Price Increased Today

By Amit Chowdhry ● Dec 15, 2021
  • The stock price of AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) increased by 2.24% today. This is why it happened.

The stock price of AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) increased by 2.24% today. Investors responded positively to Transgene (Euronext Paris: TNG) (Paris:TNG), a biotech company that designs and develops virus-based immunotherapeutics against cancer, announcing that AstraZeneca has exercised its first license option for an Invir.IO oncolytic virus (OV) developed from their ongoing OV collaboration. 

The exercise of this option for an OV, integrating an undisclosed transgene, will result in Transgene receiving an $8 million payment from AstraZeneca. And transgene is also eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales-based milestones payments as well as a royalty based on future commercial sales.

Transgene’s Invir.IO collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca started in 2019. And under the terms of the agreement Transgene is contributing its OV expertise, including viral design, and engineering, to the collaboration. Plus it is also providing access to its novel and improved Vaccinia Virus double-deleted (TK- RR-) backbone, which forms the basis for its Invir.IO platform, and is responsible for in vitro preclinical development of the OV candidates generated from the collaboration. 

AstraZeneca has selected several transgenes to be integrated within candidates generated with the Invir.IO viral backbone and is responsible for further in vivo preclinical development. And under the terms of the agreement, up to 5 novel oncolytic immunotherapies can be co-developed.

Transgene has an in-house pilot manufacturing capability that allows it to produce GMP batches of Invir.IO drug candidates for clinical development.

The recent clinical data – presented by Transgene in September 2021 at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) virtual meeting – confirmed that OVs based on Transgene’s proprietary double deleted VVcopTK-RR- virus backbone can be administered intravenously. And transgene believes that Invir.IO OVs delivered via the intravenous route could greatly expand the number of solid tumors that could be treated with this therapy, significantly increasing the commercial potential of Transgene’s OV candidates.

KEY QUOTE:

“We are delighted that AstraZeneca has decided to exercise its first license option for an oncolytic virus generated from our on-going Invir.IO collaboration. We have developed a very productive working relationship with the AstraZeneca team and based on long standing expertise developing Vaccinia based viruses capable of carrying payloads that enhance the OV’s antitumoral properties. We are looking forward to seeing this exciting OV candidate progress into clinical development.”

— Hedi Ben Brahim, Chairman and CEO of Transgene

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.