Back to top

Image: Bigstock

F-star (FSTX), AstraZeneca Team Up for Novel STING Inhibitors

Read MoreHide Full Article

F-star Therapeutics (FSTX - Free Report) announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) for its investigational novel stimulator of interferon genes (“STING”) inhibitor compounds. Shares increased 9.1% following the announcement.

Per the deal terms, AstraZeneca has been granted exclusive access to F-star’s STING inhibitor compounds including global rights for research, development and commercialization. F-star will retain the rights to all STING agonists currently undergoing clinical studies for cancer patients.

STING plays a role in activating the innate immune system across a range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In the latest press release, F-star mentions that the STING inhibitors offer enormous potential for new treatments for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

In the year so far, F-star has declined 18.8% in comparison with the industry’s decline of 2.2%.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Both F-star and AstraZeneca believe that the STING inhibitor will pave the way for the development of therapeutic options for patients across immune-mediated diseases as well as maximize the compound’s value to benefit patients.

F-star is eligible to receive upfront and near-term payments of up to $12 million. It will also be eligible to receive a payment of more than $300 million, subject to achieving potential milestones related to development and sales. F-star will also be eligible to receive royalty payments in single-digit percentage.

Investors should note that per a contingent value rights agreement, a percentage of the payments received by F-star will be shared with its stockholders that were previously stockholders of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals prior to the business combination between F-star and Spring Bank.

F-star is focused on developing next-generation immunotherapies for patients with cancer. We note that its most advanced product candidate, FS118, is currently being evaluated in a proof-of-concept phase II study in PD-1/PD-L1 acquired resistance head and neck cancer patients.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

F-star currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the medical sector include BioNTech (BNTX - Free Report) and Bayer (BAYRY - Free Report) . While BioNTech carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Bayer currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

BioNTech’s earnings estimates for 2021 have increased from $18.39 to $30.58 per share in the past 60 days while that of 2022 has risen from $7.55 to $24.90 over the same period. The stock has surged 155.1% this year so far.

Bayer’s earnings estimates for 2021 have increased from $1.74 to $1.81 per share in the past 60 days while that of 2022 has risen from $1.89 to $2.00 over the same period. The stock has risen 1.1% in the year so far.

Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential

The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases.

Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better.

See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>