Prior to the U.S. markets open this morning on the first day of trading in 2020, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Pulmatrix Inc. (PULM:NASDAQ), which is "developing innovative inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary diseases," announced that it has signed a licensing and development agreement with the Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) at Johnson & Johnson. The company indicated that "through the agreement, the LCI gains an option to access a portfolio of narrow spectrum kinase inhibitors intended for development in lung cancer interception."
The company's CEO Ted Raad commented, "Pulmatrix's iSPERSE™ platform has the ability to enhance the safety and efficacy profile of promising drug candidates...We applied the iSPERSE™ technology to RV1162/PUR1800, the lead in-licensed inhibitor and helped unlock its clinical potential by improving the product's profile from the original formulation. In 2020, we anticipate clinical data from the first of these inhibitors in a disease area with significant unmet medical need. We look forward to collaborating with the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson as we advance this important program. Additionally, in 2020, we anticipate data from our phase 2 Pulmazole program and we plan to introduce new proprietary, wholly owned iSPERSE enabled 505(b)(2) assets to our pipeline."
The company advised that according to the terms of the agreement, "the LCI will pay a $7.2 million upfront payment and an additional $2 million milestone payment upon completion of the ongoing Phase 1b study of RV1162/PUR1800 in stable COPD patients, on-track for year-end 2020. If the LCI exercises the option on RV1162/PUR1800 and the portfolio of these kinase inhibitors, Pulmatrix is eligible for up to $91 million in additional development and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments."
Pulmatrix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Lexington, Mass., that is developing innovative inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary disease using its patented iSPERSE technology. The firm explained that iSPERSE is a dry powder engineered delivery platform created to improve therapeutic delivery to the lungs by maximizing local concentrations and reducing systemic side effects. The company states that "its proprietary product pipeline is focused on advancing treatments for serious lung diseases, including Pulmazole, an inhaled anti-fungal for patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and PUR1800, a narrow spectrum kinase inhibitor for patients with obstructive lung diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease."
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ:NYSE) is based in New Brunswick, N.J., and has a market cap of around $385 billion. JNJ claims to be the world's largest and most broadly based healthcare company. The company operates through three business segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, and employs more than 130,000 employees worldwide. JNJ has research facilities in the U.S. and about 13 other large developed countries including Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Pulmatrix Inc. began the day with a market capitalization of about $17.2 million with approximately 20 million shares outstanding. PULM shares opened nearly 90% higher today at $1.63 (+$0.77, +89.53%) over the prior trading day's closing price of $0.86. The stock has traded today between $1.41 and $1.79 per share on very high relative volume and is presently trading at $1.75 (+$0.89, +103.49%).[NLINSERT]
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