By Will Feuer
Shares of ProQR Therapeutics NV rose nearly 30% after the biopharmaceutical company struck a deal to expand its licensing and collaboration agreement with drug maker Eli Lilly & Co., and said that Lilly will take a stake in the company.
ProQR Therapeutics shares jumped 29% to $2.13 a share in premarket trading. Through Wednesday's close, the stock was down 79% this year.
Under the terms of the expanded deal, Lilly will gain access to additional targets in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system with ProQR's proprietary RNA editing platform, called Axiomer.
Netherlands-based ProQR will receive $75 million, including an upfront payment as well as an equity investment. The companies didn't disclose the size of the equity stake. Lilly will have the option to further expand the partnership for a consideration of $50 million.
The collaboration between the two companies was first announced in September 2021. It used ProQR's RNA editing platform to target liver and nervous system disorders.
The companies said they have since made advances in the platform to significantly increase editing efficiency and refine biodistribution in both the liver and nervous system, opening up new potential applications. The expanded partnership will explore further applications for the platform.
Based on the original agreement and the expanded agreement, ProQR said it is eligible to receive up to about $3.75 billion in research, development and commercialization milestones, as well as tiered royalties of up to a mid-single digit percentage on product sales.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires