F-star Therapeutics ( FSTX Quick Quote FSTX - Free Report) announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with AstraZeneca ( AZN Quick Quote 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%. Image 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 Quick Quote BNTX - Free Report) and Bayer ( BAYRY Quick Quote 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.
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