Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PIRS) just struck a collaboration and license deal Friday with Seattle Genetics that sent shares on a racing 20% upturn. Considering both companies are based in finding cancer treatments, the new partnership is a savvy move between likeminded biotech players to develop bispecific immune-oncology agents.
Between Pieris’ anticalin platform and Seattle Genetics’ tumor specific monoclonal antibodies, these drug makers are joining forces to tackle solid tumors and blood cancers. Under the terms of the deal, Pieris gains $30 million in an up-front payment along with the chance to secure up to $1.2 billion in milestone payments- along with low double-digit tiered royalties on whatever product sales may come to the table.
H.C. Wainwright analyst Joseph Pantginis cheers, “Can these guys partner or what?” as he sings the praises of Pieris for signing its third deal now in the past 13 months.
As far as Pantginis sees it, this collaboration adds “a not so bad pay to play $30 million check to its coffers which can be used to fund proprietary programs such as PRS-343 and expand its runway.”
On back of the advantageous deal, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on PIRS stock with a $12 price target, which implies a 35% upside from current levels. (To watch Pantginis’ track record, click here)
“We view this collaboration and agreement as further validation of the anticalin platform and importantly, it expands the shots on goal and the opportunity to bring an anticalin based therapeutic to market,” asserts the analyst, finding anticalin’s leading elements translate to “an attractive technology.”
For context, the analyst explains what entices him about Pieris’ anticalin research and development, noting: “Key attributes of anticalins include their size and structural simplicity as they are small compact single chain proteins unlike their antibody counterparts, which are ~7-8 times larger and composed of multiple polypeptide chains.” As this is the very platform that “provides the fuel for potential stock drivers,” Pantginis recognizes that anticalins’ properties offer various benefits.
Bottom line, “The company’s platform is acting as the source of all current and future pipeline candidates, as well as having attracted multiple partnerships including three major ones in the past 13 months that brought in €30M and $75M in upfront payments previously,” the analyst surmises.