The stock price of a smaller company called Voyager Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: VYGR) recorded a strong increase of 46% this Monday. And that’s after the stock recently hit a low of $2.50 and has been in a steady downtrend since mid-2019. At the time just mentioned, the stock topped out at over $28. In previous years, the stock has also topped out at over $30.
So why the sudden sharp rise now? The reason for this is the recently started cooperation with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The latter paid Voyager Therapeutics a sum of $30 million upfront for the use of the Gtherapy technology of the biotech company. This technology is based on the use of proteins known as capsids, which were developed by Voyager in its gene therapy programs. Capsids are envelopes that encase the viruses used to transport genetic material in gene therapy. Voyager’s technology identifies capsids designed to deliver viruses more effectively to specific parts of the body.
Pfizer had licensed access to its gene therapy technology worth up to $630 million. In addition to the $30 million upfront payment, Pfizer could pay another $20 million within 12 months of signing to exercise two options, and Voyager could earn up to $580 million in milestone payments if it moves forward with a product. Voyager would also earn royalties if a product using the capsids reached the market.
Voyager said earlier this year that it is focusing on its program to develop capsids for adeno-associated viruses, or AAV, the viral vectors used in gene therapies. It was only in February that Voyager announced that its partner Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) had decided to end a collaboration on a gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
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