Prothena Climbs on Celgene Collaboration

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Prothena Corp. PLC (NASDAQ: PRTA) saw its shares climb following the announcement that it would be collaborating with Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG). Overall this looks like a chance for Prothena to really shine, especially considering that it’s had a rough run of 2018 so far, with its shares down nearly 10%.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Prothena will receive a $100 million upfront payment and a $50 million equity investment by Celgene, plus future potential exercise payments and regulatory and commercial milestones for each licensed program. Prothena also will receive additional royalties on net sales of any resulting marketed products.

The multiyear research and development collaboration is focused on three proteins implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, including tau, TDP-43 and an undisclosed target.

For each of the programs, Celgene has an exclusive right to license clinical candidates in the United States at the investigational new drug (IND) filing and, if exercised, would also have a right to expand the license to global rights at the completion of Phase 1. Following the exercise of global rights, Celgene will be responsible for funding all further global clinical development and commercialization.

Richard Hargreaves, PhD, corporate vice president of Neuroscience and Imaging for Celgene, commented:

Prothena has a legacy of innovation in neuroscience and a team with a deep understanding of biological approaches that target protein misfolding disorders. Our collaboration leverages each company`s core expertise in protein homeostasis and protein clearance to target proteins that are the underlying cause of many neurodegenerative and orphan diseases. The programs we have chosen to collaborate on have the potential to provide foundational assets from which we can build new therapeutic approaches to these currently untreatable neurological disorders.

Shares of Prothena traded up more than 16% early Wednesday at $39.39, with a consensus analyst price target of $71.50 and a 52-week trading range of $27.19 to $70.00.

Celgene traded at $89.95 a share, up nearly 2% on the day, with a consensus price target of $118.72 and a 52-week range of $86.55 to $147.17.

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