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Acceleron, Fulcrum Therapeutics Ink Deal for Pulmonary Disease

Zacks Equity Research

Acceleron Pharma Inc. XLRN announced that it has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company Fulcrum Therapeutics, Inc. FULC to identify small molecules designed to modulate specific pathways associated within the targeted pulmonary disease space.

Per the agreement, Fulcrum is eligible to receive an upfront payment of $10 million, up to $295 million in milestones for the first commercialized product along with $143.5 million in additional milestones for subsequent products. Fulcrum will also receive mid-single-digit-to-low-double-digit tiered royalties on net sales, upon potential approval.

Moreover, Acceleron will have access to Fulcrum's proprietary product engine and target identification platform and be responsible for all the development and commercialization activities for any candidates identified through this deal.

The partnership is looking to combine Fulcrum’s skill in identifying drug targets based on modulation of genetic pathways with Acceleron’s expertise in TGF-beta superfamily signaling, to develop potential disease-modifying therapies.

Shares of Acceleron inched up 2.9% following this news on Monday. In fact, the stock has rallied 20.8% in the past year compared with industry’s increase of 8.8%.

With the aforementioned collaboration deal, Acceleron is looking to strengthen its focus on developing novel therapies for patients with pulmonary diseases.

We remind investors that Acceleron is evaluating sotatercept in a phase II study for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare disease with high unmet medical need. The FDA granted Orphan Drug designation to sotatercept for PAH in September 2019.

Fulcrum too is developing its pipeline candidate losmapimod in a phase II study for treating facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and other genetically defined diseases.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Acceleron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Innoviva, Inc. INVA and Guardant Health, Inc. GH, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Innoviva’s earnings estimates have moved 25.2% north for 2020 over the past 60 days.

Guardant Health’s loss per share estimates have narrowed 8.5% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has skyrocketed 107.2% so far this year.

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