Healthcare Business

Has Alpine Immune Sciences Found the Deal of a Lifetime?

Alpine Immune Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: ALPN) shares doubled on Thursday after the company announced a license agreement with AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) for its ALPN-101 dual CD28/ICOS costimulation antagonist.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alpine will receive an upfront payment of $60 million and also will be eligible to receive up to an aggregate of $805 million for exercise of the option and success-based development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Note that prior to this move, Alpine Immune Sciences only had a market cap near $90 million.

Additionally, Alpine is eligible to receive tiered royalties on net sales of ALPN-101. In exchange, AbbVie will receive an option to an exclusive license for ALPN-101.

During this option period, Alpine will conduct a phase 2 study in systemic lupus erythematosus. Upon exercise of the option, AbbVie will conduct all future clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization activities for ALPN-101.

Note that ALPN-101 is a potent inhibitor of both CD28 and ICOS pathways, which play a big role in multiple autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Lupus is an example of one of the major diseases that APLN-101 looks to treat.

So far, favorable safety and tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics have been observed in a first-in-human study in adult healthy volunteers for ALPN-101.

Alpine Immune Sciences stock traded up about 100% early Thursday to $9.74, in a 52-week range of $2.05 to $15.00. The consensus price target is $11.75.

AbbVie stock was relatively flat, at $95.67 in a 52-week range of $62.55 to $99.35. The consensus price target is $100.81.