F-star Therapeutics, Inc. ( FSTX Quick Quote FSTX - Free Report) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with invoX Pharma, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China-based Sino Biopharmaceutical, wherein the latter will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of the former in an all-cash transaction value of $7.12 per share.
Following the acquisition, FSTX’s equity stake will be valued at $161 million. The acquisition price of $7.12 per share represents a premium of 11.6% to F-star’s closing price on Jun 23.
Shares of F-star Therapeutics rose 59.8% on Jun 23, following the deal announcement. The stock has risen 26.7% in the year so far against the
industry’s 23% decline. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
Though F-star has no marketed drug in its portfolio, it is evaluating multiple pipeline candidates across clinical studies that have been developed using its proprietary antibody discovery platform. This technology pioneers the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies that enable the simultaneous targeting of two different antigens and a unique set of pharmacology to deliver focused, potent and safe immune activation in the tumor microenvironment.
F-star Therapeutics is currently evaluating four clinical programs in its pipeline. The most advanced candidate in the company’s pipeline is FS118, a dual checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD-L1 and LAG-3. The candidate is currently being evaluated in a phase II proof-of-concept study for treating head & neck cancer as well as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
The other three candidates, namely FS222 (A CD137 stimulator and PD-L1 inhibitor), FS120 (a conditional OX40/CD137 dual agonist) and SB11285 (a STING agonist) are being evaluated in early-stage studies targeting multiple oncology indications.
Per invoX, the acquisition of F-star Therapeutics will help expand Sino Biopharmaceutical’s R&D platform outside of China. invoX has a core focus on developing therapeutics, targeting oncology and respiratory indications. F-star’s proprietary platform is expected to complement Sino Biopharmaceutical’s existing R&D platforms and pipeline outside of China.
The acquisition deal was unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies. The transaction, expected to be completed by second-half 2022, is subject to customary closing conditions and clearance from the regulatory authorities.
Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider
F-star Therapeutics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector are
Abeona Therapeutics ( ABEO Quick Quote ABEO - Free Report) , Alkermes ( ALKS Quick Quote ALKS - Free Report) and Sesen Bio ( SESN Quick Quote SESN - Free Report) . While Alkermes and Sesen Bio each sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present, Abeona Therapeutics carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
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