Investors clamour for shares in biopharmaceutical firm Summit Therapeutics (SUMM:AIM), the stock soaring 94.2% to 253.5p, after it secured an exclusive licensing and collaboration agreement with Sarepta Therapeutics worth $40m in upfront cash. Before today's announcement Summit was valued at just shy of £80 million.
The deal gives Sarepta rights in Europe, Turkey and the Commonwealth of Independent States (effectively Russia and several former Soviet Union satellites) to Summit's utrophin modulator pipeline, including its lead clinical candidate ezutromid for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Both companies are collaborating to advance the development of novel therapies for patients with DMD.
This opens the door to a potential mountain of milestone cash payments estimated at $522m, including a $22m initial milestone fee on first dosing of the last patient in the PhaseOut DMD trial.
Ezutromid is currently in a Phase II proof of concept trials called PhaseOut DMD. Sarepta and Summit will share specific R&D costs starting from 2018.
Sarepta also has the option to license Latin American rights to Summit’s utrophin modulator pipeline, which would entitle Summit to additional fees.
Summit believes the agreement will help fund its operating expenses and capital expenditure requirement until 31 December 2018.