OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OGXI) Announces Merger – Shares Higher

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Nasdaq: OGXI

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. shares, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker OGXI, are up over 50% on heavy volumes. OncoGenex develops novel therapeutics that target important mechanisms of treatment resistance in cancer with the potential to redefine treatment outcomes for patients with a variety of cancers.

Price action is likely due to the announcement that OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will be merging with privately-held Achieve Life Science Inc. The proposed merger will create a clinical-stage company focused on clinical and commercial development of cytisine, a selective nicotine receptor partial agonist currently in late-stage development for smoking cessation.  Two recent Phase 3 trials in over 2,000 patients using cytisine as a smoking cessation aid have been completed, with positive results published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition to cytisine, the combined company’s pipeline will also include apatorsen, a once-weekly intravenous drug designed to inhibit production of heat shock protein 27 to disable cancer cells’ defenses and overcome treatment resistance.

Several firms have assigned a rating of “Buy” to OGXI. OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported a EPS loss of $0.64 but that has steadily improved since 2013 when it delclared an EPS loss of $2.17. Sales have not fared as well. OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported 2013 sales of $29.9 million and $18.2 million in 2015. Shares outstanding of OGXI have increased from 14.68 million in 2013 to 26.15 million in 2015.

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