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Alpine Immune Shares Soar 160% on Global Option and License Agreement with AbbVie

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Shares of Alpine Immune Sciences set a new 52-week high after the company reported that it entered into an exclusive worldwide option and license agreement with AbbVie Inc. to develop and commercialize ALPN-101.

Clinical-stage immunotherapy company Alpine Immune Sciences Inc. (ALPN:NASDAQ) and AbbVie Inc. (ABBV:NYSE) today announced "an exclusive worldwide option and license agreement for ALPN-101, a first-in-class dual CD28/ICOS costimulation antagonist."

Under the terms of the agreement, Alpine Immune Sciences will grant AbbVie option to license exclusive worldwide rights for ALPN-101. This will enable AbbVie to build upon its continued efforts to develop novel therapies in immunology. Alpine Immune Sciences will receive $60 million in an upfront cash payment and is additionally eligible to receive up to $805 million for exercise of the option and if certain success-based development, regulatory and commercial objectives and milestones are met.

The report indicated that Alpine Immune Sciences will be conducting a phase 2 study in systemic lupus erythematosus during the option period. Upon exercise of the option, AbbVie would then conduct all future clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization activities for ALPN-101.

The company explained that "CD28 and ICOS are key costimulatory molecules that likely play critical roles in multiple autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and that ALPN-101 is a potent inhibitor of both CD28 and ICOS pathways with demonstrated efficacy in multiple preclinical disease models, superior to blockade of either pathway alone."

The company' Executive Chairman and CEO Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., commented, "We are very pleased to partner ALPN-101 with AbbVie, a world leader in the development and commercialization of innovative immunology therapies...AbbVie is an ideal partner for ALPN-101, with the therapeutic area expertise, R&D commitment, and global resources needed to maximize ALPN-101's potential for patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. Today's agreement validates our unique Directed Evolution platform that has yielded multiple product candidates, including ALPN-101. We look forward to working with our colleagues at AbbVie to potentially transform clinical outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus, a disease with currently few appealing treatment options."

AbbVie's SVP and Chief Scientific Officer Tom Hudson, M.D., remarked, "AbbVie's expertise in Immunology has led to remarkable breakthroughs in the treatment of autoimmune diseases...ALPN-101's dual mechanism of action has compelling potential as a next-generation treatment in systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases. We are excited to partner with the team at Alpine on the development of this novel therapeutic."

Alpine Immune Sciences is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Seattle. The firm is engaged in the development of multifunctional immune therapeutics to improve patients' lives using unique protein engineering technologies.

AbbVie is a global biopharmaceutical and healthcare company based in North Chicago, Ill., with a market cap of greater than $168 billion. The company's products address key therapeutic areas including eye care, gastroenterology, immunology, neuroscience, oncology, virology and women's health, as well as products and services throughout its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio.

Alpine Immune Sciences started the day with a market capitalization of around $86.6 million with approximately 18.59 million shares outstanding. APLN shares opened more that 200% higher today at $14.05 (+$9.59, +215.02%) over yesterday's $4.46 closing price and reached a new 52-week high price this morning of $15.00. The stock has traded today between $8.70 and $15.00 per share and is currently trading at $12.72 (+$7.86, +161.29%).


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