Benitec Biopharma Ltd’s [ASX:BLT] share price saw a steady start to trading on the back of their agreement with Axovant on 9 July 2018. Over the last week, the share price of Benitec has been yo-yoing at a peak to trough range of 5%.
Benitec shares are trading at 0.19 at time of writing, up 2.70% today.
The biotech company develops gene-silencing therapies for the treatment of chronic and life threatening diseases.
Partnership with Axovant could aid Benitec Biopharma Ltd Share Price
Since announcing its agreement with Axovant Sciences Ltd [NASDAQ:AXON], Benitec will receive an upfront cash payment of US$10 million, as well as more cash payments equalling to US$ 17.5 million, all up US $27.5 million.
This is effective after the completion of close by milestones for its BB-301, now named AXO-AAV-OPMD treatment. Upon commercialisation, Benitec will also retain 30% of net profits on global sales of AXO-AAV-OPMD, but Axovant has worldwide rights.
The partnership between the Benitec and Axovant is developing five gene therapy programs, which will span over the next few years. Benitec will be awarded full research funding, and entitled to US$93.5 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones for each program.
However, there is no insurance of the total amount of payments that Benitec will receive, nor when this payment/s will occur.
Executive Chairman of Benitec Biopharma Jerel Banks spoke of the teams focus, saying:
‘Our management team is focused execlusively on expanding the research, development, and commercial opportunities for the core “silence-and replace” platform with the dual goals of enhancing patient benefit and generating shareholder value. We believe Axovant is the ideal partner to advance our OPMD program, and we look forward to working closely with them to develop AXO-AAV-OPMD as we progress towards clinical trials in 2019.’
This could be contributing to Benitec’s shifting share price and may stabilise over time.
Key milestones for Benitec Biopharma
Of all eight milestones in place for Benitec, four are near-term goals in gene therapy products for neurological disorders. There is hope that over the next few years these milestones will be met, leaving room to maximise the US$187.5 million.
Executive Chairman of Benitec Biopharma, Dr Jerel A Banks spoke of the agreement and potential it holds to transform Benitec Biopharma, saying:
‘…In addition to bolstering our opportunity to drive broad-based, clinically meaningful patient benefit across several areas of clinical medicine with true unmet need, this partnership signfically [sic] enchances [sic] the financial. Intellectual, and clinical development resources available to facilitate our efforts to build Benitec into a diversified biopharmaceutical company. The non-dilutive capital expected over the near term will allow Benitec to continue to invest in proprietary R&D Programs across a range of indications.’
As I see it, it appears as though good things could come for the Benitec Biopharma share price as the future of technology and innovation is only begining. Of course, this is not to discount other variables that could turn the market on its head.
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