Synthetic Biologics Inc (NYSE MKT: SYN) announced that the United States Patent Office has granted U.S. Patent No. 9,512,204 which provides composition of matter coverage for SYN-005, the Company’s preclinical drug candidate designed to treat or prevent the development of Pertussis (whooping cough), especially in infants.

This patent, which is co-owned with Synthetic Biologics’ Pertussis academic collaborator, The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), is also exclusively licensed to Synthetic Biologics. The patent covers, among others, the Company’s monoclonal antibody, hu1B7, a component of SYN-005 which is the subject of an ongoing study funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to UT Austin. The exclusivity provided by this new patent has an expiration date of 2035, which does not include a potential patent term extension.

“The successful granting of this key composition of matter patent is an important milestone for SYN-005, our preclinical product candidate with orphan-drug designation designed to target and neutralize Pertussis toxin for the treatment of whooping cough,” said Jeffrey Riley, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This patent issuance further strengthens our robust intellectual property portfolio and is an important component to the advancement and clinical development of this novel therapeutic.”

Synthetic Biologics is developing SYN-005 through its Exclusive Channel Collaboration with Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON) and academic researchers at The University of Texas at Austin to target and neutralize the pertussis toxin in order to reduce morbidity and mortality in infected infants. Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis) with symptoms that may include chronic coughing and subsequent breathing difficulties. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 50 million worldwide cases of whooping cough each year, leading to an estimated 300,000 deaths, primarily among young, unvaccinated infants. In September 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Orphan Drug designation to the Company’s proprietary SYN-005 monoclonal antibody (mAb) combination for the treatment of Pertussis. (Original Source)

Shares of Synthetic Biologics are currently falling 5.19% to $0.810, or down $0.044 in pre-market trading Tuesday. SYN has a 1-year high of $2.74 and a 1-year low of $0.73. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.10 and its 200-day moving average is $1.58.

On the ratings front, Synthetic Biologics has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 15, FBR analyst Edward White reiterated a Buy rating on SYN, with a price target of $5, which implies an upside of 485% from current levels. Separately, on August 31, Griffin Securities’ Keith Markey reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $5.75.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Edward White and Keith Markey have a yearly average loss of -10.2% and -31.0% respectively. White has a success rate of 21% and is ranked #4145 out of 4269 analysts, while Markey has a success rate of 10% and is ranked #4157.

Synthetic Biologics, Inc. is a clinical stage company, which develops therapeutics to protect the gut microbiome while targeting pathogen-specific diseases. Its products portfolio includes SYN-004 and SYN-010. The SYN-004, which is designed to protect the gut microbiome from the effects of certain commonly used intravenous (IV) antibiotics for the prevention of C. difficile infection and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The SYN-010, which is intended to reduce the impact of methane-producing organisms in the gut microbiome to treat an underlying cause of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.