XCUR Stock Increases Over 55% Pre-Market: Why It Happened

By Amit Chowdhry ● Aug 2, 2021
  • The stock price of Exicure Inc (NASDAQ: XCUR) increased by over 55% pre-market. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Exicure Inc (NASDAQ: XCUR) increased by over 55% pre-market. Investors are responding positively to Ipsen (Euronext: IPN; ADR: IPSEY) and Exicure Inc. (NASDAQ: XCUR) signed an exclusive collaboration agreement to research, develop, and commercialize novel Spherical Nucleic Acids (SNAs) as potential investigational treatments for Huntington’s disease and Angelman syndrome.

Oligonucleotides are synthetic structures of nucleic acids, which can be used to modulate gene expression via a range of processes — including gene activation, inhibition, and splice-modulation. And these molecules have demonstrated potential in many different therapeutic areas. Achieving efficient oligonucleotide delivery to target organs and tissues like the brain remains a major limitation to their use. 

Exicure’s SNAs offer distinct chemical and biochemical properties to oligonucleotides. And in preclinical models, SNAs have been shown to enhance the cell penetration, biodistribution, and organ persistence properties of oligonucleotides, which may potentially enhance drug delivery to previously inaccessible target tissues, including deep brain regions.

Under the agreement, Ipsen is going to receive exclusive options to license SNA-based therapeutics arising from 2 collaboration programs for Huntington’s disease and Angelman syndrome. Ipsen will pay Exicure a cash upfront payment of $20 million upon closing and Exicure will be responsible for discovery and certain pre-clinical development activities. In the event Ipsen exercises its option, Ipsen is going to be responsible for further development and commercialization of the licensed products. And Exicure will receive a $20 million upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to $1 billion in option exercise fees and milestone payments should Ipsen opt into both programs, as well as tiered royalties.

KEY QUOTES:

“Neuroscience is deeply rooted within Ipsen as a key strategic driver for our business. We are pleased to partner with Exicure to progress development of investigational treatment options for Huntington’s disease and Angelman syndrome, two areas of significant unmet need. This collaboration marks an important step in maximizing the potential of this novel technology, bringing together the expertise of Exicure and the robust heritage of Ipsen in neuroscience. With this new collaboration we will deepen our commitment to people living with neurological conditions around the world.”

— Philippe Lopes-Fernandes, Chief Business Officer at Ipsen

“We are thrilled to partner with Ipsen, a leading global company with significant expertise and commitment to developing treatments for patients with rare neurological diseases. In collaboration with Ipsen, we have the opportunity to apply our technology to Huntington’s disease and Angelman syndrome, both indications requiring deep brain penetration and technological advances to reach previously hard-to-drug targets. We believe our platform technology with its deep penetration and persistence of medicinal effect will allow Exicure and Ipsen to overcome challenges from first-generation oligonucleotides and bring new medicines to patients in need.”

— David Giljohann, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Exicure

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