Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. RETA and Blackstone Blackstone Group BX announced a strategic investment deal to fund the development and potential commercialization of Reata’s lead pipeline candidate, bardoxolone methyl.
Per the deal, Blackstone Life Sciences, part of Blackstone Group, will make an investment of $350 million in Reata. Blackstone Life Sciences will pay Reata an amount of $300 million in return for royalty payments on worldwide net sales of bardoxolone, when approved, by Reata and its licensees, except for Japanese pharma company, Kyowa Kirin. Blackstone Life Sciences will make another $50 million investment in Reata through purchase of Reata’s common stock. Reata is expected to receive the payments from Blackstone at the closing of deal expected by Jun 24.
Reata also updated its guidance for cash runway and expects to have enough to fund its operations through the end of 2023. Previously, the company expected its cash to fund operations through the end of 2021.
Shares of Reata rallied more than 28% on Jun 11, following the deal announcement. However, the company’ shares have declined almost 18% so far this year against the industry’s increase of 8.4%.
Please note that the company is developing bardoxolone in phase III studies targeting chronic kidney diseases (CKDs) – autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and Alport syndrome. Reata re-acquired development, manufacturing and commercialization rights related to bardoxolone from AbbVie ABBV last year.
The company is evaluating the candidate in the phase III FALCON study as a treatment for ADPKD while another pivotal, phase III study — CARDINAL — is evaluating it in CKD patients with Alport syndrome.
Meanwhile, Reata stopped the phase III CATALYST study, evaluating bardoxolone in patients with connective tissue disease-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (CTD-PAH) in March. The study was stopped due to higher risk of CTD-PAH patients getting infected with COVID-19 during clinic or in-person visits for evaluation. The company also closed the open-label extension study — RANGER — evaluating bardoxolone in patients with PAH.
Apart from bardoxolone, Reata is also developing another pipeline candidate, omaveloxolone, as a treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia, a neuromuscular disorder. The company expects to submit a new drug application seeking approval for omaveloxolone by the end of this year.
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. price | Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote
Zacks Rank & Key Pick
Reata currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation AGTC is another top-ranked biotech stock, carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Applied Genetic’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from $2.32 to $2.05 for 2020 and from $2.01 to $1.80 for 2021 in the past 30 days. The company’s average four-quarter positive earnings surprise is 1.34%. The stock has increased 7.3% so far this year.
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