uniQure to Snap up Corlieve Therapeutics for €46.3M; Shares Rise

Leading gene therapy company uniQure N.V. (QURE) inked a deal to acquire Corlieve Therapeutics and its lead program, AMT-260, for an upfront cash payment of €46.3 million and additional milestone payments. AMT-260 is an advanced gene therapy program for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

uniQure’s advance transformative gene therapies treat patients with severe medical needs. Shares of uniQure gained 2.4% in the extended trading session on Tuesday.

Corlieve Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focusing on novel therapies for patients with severe neurological disorders. Its lead gene therapy program, AMT-260, uses miRNA silencing technology for the treatment of TLE, which is the most common type of focal epilepsy.

As per the terms of the deal, Corlieve shareholders will also receive incremental payments, of which up to 25% will be payable in uniQure shares at uniQure’s election and up to €43.7 million linked to the development milestones through Phase I/II.

Further, an additional €160 million will be paid in connection with milestones related to Phase III development and the approvals of AMT-260 in the U.S and European Union. (See QURE stock chart on TipRanks)

Through the acquisition, uniQure will be able to expand its pipeline of innovative gene therapies for the treatment of neurological disorders and also reinforce its global leadership in the development of gene therapies using miRNA silencing technology.

The acquisition targets a huge opportunity to treat around 1.3 million TLE patients in the U.S. and Europe with approximately 800,000 drug-resistant patients.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to customary and regulatory approvals.

uniQure’s CEO Matt Kapusta commented, “The acquisition of Corlieve provides an extraordinary opportunity to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients around the world suffering from epilepsy and aligns with our vision of pursuing unmet medical needs for disorders that impact large populations and can be addressed with gene therapies directed to the CNS and liver.”

Chardan Capital analyst Gbola Amusa recently reiterated a Buy rating for uniQure’s with a price target of $100 (227.5% upside potential).

Amusa said the company shares have strong momentum, and the company is on track to become a “powerful 2021 Huntington’s disease catalyst” after the company announced the enrollment of the first two patients of the second cohort of the 26-patient phase I/II trial of AMT-130 in Huntington’s disease.

Overall, the stock has a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 8 Buys and 1 Hold. The average uniQure analyst price target of $65.57 implies 114.8% upside potential from current levels.

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