Onconova Therapeutics (ONTX) Stock Pops After Regaining Rights

Onconova Therapeutics ONTX Stock News

Onconova Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONTX) is running for the top in the market this morning, gaining more than 10% early on. The gains come after the company announced that it has regained rights to rigosertib in China. Here’s what’s happening:

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ONTX Stock Climbs On Rigosertib Rights

In a press release issued early this morning, Onconova Therapeutics said that it has regained rights to rigosertib in Greater China. In the release, the company said that it regained the rights from HanX Biopharmaceuticals as the result of a termination of the license agreement between the two.

The termination was triggered when HanX failed to make required payments under the agreement. ONTX said that HanX may be eligible to receive milestone and royalty payments in exchange for transition assistance and upon regulatory approval.

In a statement, Dr. Steven Fruchtman, President and CEO at ONTX, had the following to offer:

We are pleased to regain rigosertib rights for Greater China, and we are encouraged by the opportunity to partner rigosertib in select territories including Greater China as we approach the potential corporate catalyst of topline data for the registrational INSPIRE Trial in 1H 2020. We thank HanX for their collaborative efforts to advance rigosertib in this key market including the filing of the rigosertib IND in China. In 2019, we added partners Knight Therapeutics for Canada, Specialised Therapeutics for Australia & New Zealand, and Inceptua Medicines Access in select countries for pre-approval access to our roster of global corporate partners, joining Pint Pharma for Latin America and SymBio Pharmaceuticals for Japan & Korea. The United States, Europe, and Greater China represent the major pharmaceutical markets Onconova directly controls heading into INSPIRE data read out.

Why This News Is Exciting

At first glance, this may not seem like great news, but it is. There are a few things to consider here:

  • Onconova Now Has A Key Territory – The Greater China territory includes mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, representing one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world. Since Onconova Therapeutics now has the rights to this territory, once regulatory approval is achieved, the company has the ability to capitalize in a big way.
  • Other Potential Partnerships¬†– With the license agreement now null, ONTX is free to seek other partnerships for the region. This could lead to an influx of funding should a new licensing agreement be signed.
  • The Company Is Taking This Very Seriously – Another thing to consider here is that ONTX quickly acted. Ultimately, the company knows that it’s onto something with rigosertib, and is not giving any slack. The fact that the company acted quickly shows that it is taking partnerships seriously and that it plans to aggressively move forward.

There are a few other things to consider here. First and foremost, rigosertib is in Phase 3 development and likely to move into an application with the FDA relatively soon. If all goes well, Onconova Therapeutics could be sitting on a goldmine.

By 2024, experts are suggesting that the leukemia treatment market will be worth more than $17 billion annually. For a company with a market cap of just over $50 million, tapping into such a vast commercial opportunity is huge! This, combined with other potential indications for rigosertib say that the drug could quickly become a blockbuster.

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