Making big headlines yesterday was RXi Pharmaceuticals (RXII.OB), which announced a deal made with OPKO Health (OPK) which gives RXi intellectual property rights to OPKO's iRNA portfolio in exchange for $50 million worth of milestone payments, royalty payments, and 50 million shares of RXi common stock. This significantly expands the size and scope of RXi's RNA program, which is currently led by RXI-109.RXI-109 is an iRNA compound that inhibits the CTGF (Connective Tissue Growth Factor) protein, which plays a key role in the formation of scar tissue.
It's also worth noting that RXi also bolstered its cash position with the sale of $16.4 million worth of common stock to private investors.
As a response to these recent developments, RXII jumped over 34% in a single trading session. This brings 2013 total gains in RXII to 160%.
Another aspect of the RXII deal which has enticed many investors is the involvement of Dr. Philip Frost - a famous investor who has a very impressive track record for wealth creation in the biotech sector, going all the way back to his acquisition of Key Pharmaceuticals back in the 1970's. His first big deal resulted in a $600 million buyout by Schering-Plough in the 80's. Dr. Frost is now the CEO of OPKO Health, and should draw much more market attention to RXi following the announcement of this deal.
Another play in the RNA sector with strong performance since the start of the year is Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY), has reached a market cap of $1.6 billion following a 38% rally since the start of the year.
Alnylam has four drugs in clinical development (two of which are partnered). One of these is ALN-TTR02, which can be considered their flagship product.
ALN-TTR02, like RXI-109, works through RNA interference (iRNA), and is a Phase II treatment for TTR-mediated amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a complicated disease that causes a buildup of insoluble proteins that can cause giant growths in certain organs or tissues that can become extremely
stockwatcher, many thanks for the post. indeed, extremely promising news yesterday. I was told this morning that with RXI's addition to their IP and patents acquired from OPK it places them among the forefront in RNAi technology. As you might recall I also have held a position in ALNY from its beginning. Another great company on the cutting edge....................until then
I think Gene Silencing is the main scientific platform where RNAi evolved and is evolving. If I am not mistaken, RNAi can be designed in such a way that it can specifically use to treat a variety of diseases. RXII's RXI-109 for treating scarring and ALNY's ALN-TTRO2 for treating amyloidosis are only scatching the surfaces of RNAi's capabilities in dealing with diseases.
The acquisition by RXII of the RNAi IPs and patents from OPK is a very smart scientific strategic move on the part of Geert and Dr. Frost.
As far as I am concerned, Both companies are planning for some bigger and more exciting things to come. We should know more when RXII obtains FDA approval on RXI-109.