Anavex Soars on Biogen Agreement

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Shares of Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: AVXL) soared on Wednesday following a material transfer agreement with Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB). As for the terms of this agreement, Biogen will test Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX 2-73 in an oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) differentiation assay.

If all goes well in this study and there is a satisfactory result from the OPC assay study, it may lead to an in vivo remyelination study using a chemical demylination model.

For some background: Anavex is involved in the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, other central nervous system diseases, pain and various types of cancer. Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX 2-73, is currently in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease.

Christopher U. Missling, PhD, president and CEO of Anavex, commented:

Battling demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis requires an understanding of the processes that cause remyelination to fail.  Remyelination of demyelinated axons is typically a function of oligodendrocyte precursor cells. These studies will examine the therapeutic role ANAVEX 2-73 may play in permitting remyelination in the brain.

Excluding Wednesday’s move, Anavex has underperformed the broad markets and is down about 44% year to date.

Shares of Anavex were last seen up 34% at $4.22, with a consensus analyst price target of $12.50 and a 52-week trading range of $1.35 to $14.84.

Biogen was trading at $314.24. The consensus price target is $344.61, and the 52-week range is $223.02 to $333.65.

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