Company Update (NASDAQ:NKTR): Nektar Therapeutics Announces Receipt of $100 Million Milestone Payment from AstraZeneca

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) announced today that it has received a $100 million payment under a license agreement with AstraZeneca. The cash payment under the Nektar-AstraZeneca agreement was triggered by the first commercial sale of MOVANTIK (naloxegol) in the U.S.  MOVANTIK is the first once-daily, oral peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) medication for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain.  

"We're pleased that MOVANTIK is now available as an important treatment option for the millions of patients suffering from opioid-induced constipation," said Howard W. Robin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nektar.  "This significant milestone for MOVANTIK showcases Nektar's invention and development of a first-in-class oral medicine that is specifically designed to target the common and potentially debilitating condition experienced by chronic pain patients treated with opioids."

MOVANTIK was developed using Nektar's oral small molecule polymer conjugate technology. MOVANTIK is part of the exclusive worldwide license agreement announced on September 21, 2009 between AstraZeneca and Nektar Therapeutics. Under the terms of the agreement, in addition to the $100 million milestone payment announced today,Nektar is entitled to a $40 million milestone payment upon first commercial sale of MOVANTIK in a major European country, as well as royalties on worldwide net product sales and up to $375 million in sales milestones.  The royalty rate in the U.S. starts at 20% and escalates.  The royalty rate in Europe and the rest of the world starts at 18% and escalates.  Under the agreement, AstraZeneca is responsible for all sales and marketing activities for MOVANTIK worldwide.

 (Original Source)

Shares of Nektar closed yesterday at $10.82 . NKTR has a 1-year high of $17.53 and a 1-year low of $10.10. The stock's 50-day moving average is $12.78 and it's 200-day moving average is $13.87.

On the ratings front, Nektar has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 18, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer maintained a Buy rating on NKTR, with a price target of $15, which implies an upside of 38.6% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, Jefferies Co.'s David Steinberg maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $14.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gage the performance of their past recommendations, Joshua Schimmer and David Steinberg have a total average return of 14.9% and 21.5% respectively. Schimmer has a success rate of 61.4% and is ranked #278 out of 3564 analysts, while Steinberg has a success rate of 75.9% and is ranked #364.

The street is mostly Bullish on NKTR stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $16.80, which implies an upside of 55.3% from current levels.

Nektar Therapeutics Inc is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company develops a pipeline of drug candidates that utilizes its PEGylation and polymer conjugate technology platforms that are designed to developmolecular entities.

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