On Monday, Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) announced an exclusive strategic collaboration in which the agreement gives Bristol-Myers “exclusive access to uniQure’s gene therapy technology platform for multiple targets in cardiovascular diseases.” The New York City based pharmaceutical company will make an upfront payment of $50 million to uniQure and an additional $15 million in three months once they collaborate on three more targets. Bristol-Myers will have a 4.9% stake in uniQure at a price of $33.84 a share. Before the deal was announced, shares of QURE were trading at $22.
Following news of the partnership, uniQure shares increased 55% and last opened at $34.40. According to BMY’s press release, In addition to cardiovascular diseases, the agreement includes the potential for collaboration in other diseases. UniQure will lead “discovery efforts” while BMY will lead “development and regulatory activities; research and development costs;” and “commercialization of all products.”
Glybera, uniQure’s leading product candidate, is a gene therapy that treats lipoprotein lipase deficiency, or LPLD, which is a rare genetic disorder than inhibits the breakdown of fatty acids and can cause pancreatitis. Glybera is administered as an injection into a patient’s leg in one session. In October 2012, Glybera was granted marketing authorization in the European Union, but it is still in Phase 3 in the United States.
According to SmarterAnalyst, Joshua Schimmer of Piper Jaffray reiterated an overweight rating on uniQure and increased his price target from $35 to $40. Schimmer commented on the significance of uniQure’s deal with BMY, noting that it “helps validate QURE’s gene therapy platform and baculovirus manufacturing capabilities and highlights the company’s leadership in this field.” The partnership, he continued, “helps takes the pressure off Glybera EU launch and sets up the stock for hemophilia B data in 2H15.” Additionally, Schimmer is optimistic about potential for collaboration on 9 additional targets. He noted that the partnership with Bristol-Myers “locks in value for the S100A1 program ahead of CLDN’s P2b data in April.” S100A1 is a calcium sensor protein that monitors the contracting and relaxing of the heart. It is currently in preclinical development.
Joshua Schimmer has rated many biopharmaceutical stocks in the past, such as GW Pharmaceuticals PLC-ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD). He has rated GW Pharma 7 times since November 2014, earning an 86% success rate recommending the biopharmaceutical company with a +28.5% average return per GWPH rating. Likewise, he consistently rated Gilead a Buy 8 times since February 2011, earning a 75% success rate recommending the stock with a +10.9% average return per GILD rating.
However, Schimmer has not always been accurate recommending stocks in the volatile biotechnology sector. He has rated Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC) 4 times since November 2013 with a 0% success rate recommending PCYC and a average loss of -28.9% per rating.
Overall, Joshua Schimmer has a 63% success rate recommending stocks and a +14.9% average return per recommendation, according to TipRanks.