Shares of TFF Pharmaceuticals closed 6.5% higher on Monday as the clinical-stage biopharma company announced that it has teamed up with Augmenta Bioworks to develop human-derived monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for potential COVID-19 therapeutics.
TFF (TFFP) said it has entered into a worldwide joint development and collaboration agreement to develop novel commercial products incorporating Augmenta’s mAbs. According to the agreement, both companies will collaborate on 1 or more commercial therapeutics to potentially treat patients with COVID-19. TFF has developed a Thin Film Freezing (TFF) platform to improve the solubility and absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs and to generate dry powder particles with properties targeted for inhalation, especially to the deep lung area.
The joint therapeutics will be developed using TFF’s Thin Film Freezing technology to manufacture dry powder formulations of specific mAbs for inhalation delivery directly to the lungs of patients. The agreement also includes the development of formulations suitable for parenteral administration, where the Thin Film Freezing dry powder formulations can be reconstituted, potentially mitigating the impacts of cold-chain storage and handling.
As part of the agreement, TFF will also have the option to develop two additional Augmenta mAbs for indications other than COVID-19.
“This important agreement represents the culmination of many months of work by our scientific team, as we work towards the development of a never before-achieved formulation of monoclonal antibodies into a dry powder therapeutic,” said TFF CEO Glenn Mattes. “It is a testament to the remarkable flexibility and capability of our Thin Film Freezing platform and we are eager to develop these potentially breakthrough mAb therapies internally, along with our other programs in Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis, solid organ transplant anti-rejection, and botanicals.”
Augmenta, which focuses on immune profiling technologies, and TFF will allocate patent license rights to their respective technologies to allow each company to commercialize the products developed under the joint project. The companies have agreed to equally share all costs and expenses needed to advance the project, as well as split all revenues, cash payments and/or future cash payments related to the sale and/or license of the joint products.
TFF, which has exploded 154% this year, has plunged 23% over the past month. For now, the two analysts recently covering TFFP, Roth Capital’s Jonathan Aschoff and Maxim Group’s Jason McCarthy, both have a Buy rating on the stock.
Looking ahead, the $20.50 average price target implies another 51% upside potential over the coming year.
“By the time the patient with COVID has severe disease, it’s not so much about the virus per se, it is the pneumonia and altered immune response. This creates the opportunity for bacteria and fungi to establish invasive infections,” Maxim’s McCarthy wrote in a note to investors. “If invasive disease is prevented, since these infections are major drivers of mortality in COVID, TFF-VORI could potentially save lives if used as a preventative measure.” (See TFFP stock analysis on TipRanks)
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