XOMA Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA), a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies, announced today it has exclusively licensed the global development and commercialization rights to its anti-transforming growth factor-beta (TGFb) antibody program to Novartis. Under the terms of the agreement, XOMA will receive $37.0 million in the form of an upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to $480.0 million if all development, regulatory, and commercial milestones are met. In addition, XOMA is eligible to receive royalties on product sales that range from the mid-single digits to the low double digits. In connection with this license agreement, Novartis has agreed to extend the maturity date on the approximately $13.5 million of outstanding debt under the secured note agreement, which bears interest at the six-month LIBOR plus 2% (currently 2.53%), to September 30, 2020. XOMA has also agreed to reduce the royalty rate to XOMA associated with Novartis’ clinical stage anti-CD40 antibodies.

“XOMA and Novartis have worked closely together for several years to develop new product candidates. When they expressed interest in our anti-TGFb program, we knew Novartis was the best company to bring this exciting potential therapy to the patients whom it may help,” stated John Varian, Chief Executive Officer of XOMA. “Novartis is recognized as a leader in oncology, where an anti-TGFb molecule has real potential either as monotherapy or in combination with other therapeutic options.

“We had said we did not plan to raise equity capital at our recent stock price in order to fund the development of our very exciting endocrine portfolio. With this non-dilutive liquidity of essentially $50.5 million, we currently project this capital, in combination with our planned cost savings measures, will fund operations into 2017. We remain on track to begin our XOMA 358 Phase 2 clinical program this fall and fully anticipate we will have the data from these studies during that timeframe,” concluded Mr. Varian. (Original Source)

Shares of Xoma closed yesterday at $0.75. XOMA has a 1-year high of $5.95 and a 1-year low of $0.69. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.81 and its 200-day moving average is $2.69.

On the ratings front, Xoma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 7, Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos maintained a Buy rating on XOMA, with a price target of $11, which represents a potential upside of 1363.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on July 23, Jefferies Co.’s Biren Amin downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $1.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Liana Moussatos and Biren Amin have a total average return of 10.6% and 5.0% respectively. Moussatos has a success rate of 34.4% and is ranked #303 out of 3755 analysts, while Amin has a success rate of 46.8% and is ranked #910.

The street is mostly Neutral on XOMA stock. Out of 6 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Hold rating and one recommends to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $1.00, which implies an upside of 33.0% from current levels.

XOMA Corpdiscovers and develops antibody-based therapeutics. Several of its antibodies have properties due to their interaction at allosteric sites on specific protein rather than the orthosteric, or active sites.