Alpine Immune Sciences ALPN Stock News

Alpine Immune Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: ALPN) is making a run for the top in the market this morning, and for good reason. The company announced that it has decided to move forward with a deal with AbbVie. Here’s what’s going on:

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ALPN Rockets On ABBV Deal

In the press release, Alpine Immune Sciences said that it has granted AbbVie an exclusive worldwide option and license agreement surrounding ALPN-101. ALPN-101 is a first-in-class dual CD28/ICOS constimulation antagonist.

In the release, ALPN said that CD28 and ICOS are key costimulatory molecules that likely play critical roles in multiple autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The candidate at the center of the deal with ABBV is a potent inhibitor of both of these pathways with demonstrated efficacy in multiple preclinical disease models.

Importantly, preclinical results suggest that the treatment is superior to blockade of either of these pathways alone. Moreover, the company has demonstrated favorable safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in a first-in-human study with healthy adult volunteers.

As part of the agreement, ALPN said that it will receive an upfront payment of $60 million. Moreover, the company will be eligible to receive up to $805 million for the exercise of the option as well as success-based development, regulatory and commercial milestones. The company will also recieve tiered royalties on net sales of the drug should it be approved and marketed.

Alpine said that it will conduct a Phase 2 study in systemic lupus erythematosus during the option period. Should the option be exercised, AbbVie will conduct all future clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization activities for the drug.

In a statement, Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., Executive Chairman and CEO at ALPN, had the following to offer:

We are very pleased to partner ALPN-101 with AbbVie, a world leader in the development and commercialization of innovative immunology therapies. AbbVie is an ideal partner for ALPN-101, with the therapeutic area expertise, R&D commitment, and global resources needed to maximize ALPN-101’s potential for patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. Today’s agreement validates our unique Directed Evolution platform that has yielded multiple product candidates, including ALPN-101. We look forward to working with our colleagues at AbbVie to potentially transform clinical outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus, a disease with currently few appealing treatment options.

This News Is Huge

The news released by Alpine this morning was overwhelmingly positive. First and foremost, we’re talking about a company that, after the tremendous gains seen today, is trading with a market cap of around $175 million. So, the upfront payment involved in this deal represents more than a third of the company’s market cap.

Moreover, should the treatment prove to be positive, there’s a prospect for hundreds of millions of dollars to fly through the door in option and milestone payments, on top of tiered royalties that could only increase the revenue potential here.

All in all, this is a great deal for ALPN and its shareholders.

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