Is It The Time To Invest In Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ:ABUS)?

Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ:ABUS)

Shares of Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ:ABUS) jumped over 19% on Friday in response to the announced licensing deal with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN). The company reported that it has licensed its proprietary lipid nanoparticle technology for exceptional application in one of Alexion’s rare disease plans. This deal allows Alexion to resolve delivery for therapeutic application of mRNA and rapidly enter clinical advancement with its mRNA candidate.

The update

Per the license deal, Alexion will compensate Arbutus with an upfront payment of $7.5 million, and payments of as much as $75 million for achievement of regulatory, commercial, and development milestones, and single digit royalties. Additionally, Arbutus will perform technology development and offer regulatory and manufacturing support for the rapid growth of Alexion’s mRNA product candidate.

Dr. Mark J. Murray, the President and CEO of Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ:ABUS), reported that this deal validates their leadership role in LNP technology and highlights the value of this platform in allowing RNA therapeutics.

The main focus as a firm remains on the cure of HBV.  This deal with Alexion shows the value of their LNP platform, which has extensive potential to offer mRNA and gene editing treatments. They are receiving considerable interest from firms that need access to their LNP platform to support their own development plans. The LNP expertise and intellectual asset will contribute both long and near term value to Arbutus.

Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ:ABUS) is a biopharmaceutical firm dedicated to discovering, commercializing and developing a cure for people suffering from chronic HBV infection. The company, headquartered in Vancouver, has facilities in Doylestown.

Prior to this update, the company released a press release in February stating that the Supreme Court of British Columbia approved the company’s request for a pre-trial ban against Acuitas, preventing them from sublicensing its lipid nanoparticle technology until the close of October 2017, or further order of the Supreme Court. As per the terms of pre-trial ban, the firm is prevented from finalizing any new deals which include sublicensing of LNP.

The CEO of Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ:ABUS) stated that they are satisfied by the Court’s decision to allow a pre-trial ban against Acuitas to stop them from granting illegal licenses and use of their LNP technology. They will continue to protect against illegal use of their LNP technology.  The company plans to leverage LNP to record non-dilutive capital to support fund development of their HBV pipeline.

3/20/2017
Ticker Symbol ABUS
Last Price a/o 3:21 PM EST  $3.40
Average Volume  270.34K
Market Cap (mlns)  $186.49M
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 54.85M
Share Float (mlns) 34.54M
Inside Ownership 8.16%
Short Float 1.68%
Short Interest Ratio 2.15
Quarterly Return 25.93%
YTD Return 38.78%
Year Return -6.59%

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

About the author: Monica Gray has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA – earned with Honors. She has six years of experience in the financial markets and has been a securities analyst for the past two years.

Author: Monica Gray

Monica has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA she earned - with Honors. She has six years of experience in the financial markets and has been an analyst for the past two years.

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