Moleculin Surges on Manufacturing Deal for Coronavirus Therapy
Moleculin Biotech, Inc. MBRX announced that it has signed a manufacturing agreement with contract development and manufacturing organization, Sterling Pharma Solutions, to support continued drug supply of its pipeline candidate, WP1122. Moleculin is preparing to file an investigational new drug application to the FDA to initiate a clinical study for the evaluation of WP1122 as potential treatment of COVID-19.
Shares of Moleculin gained 36.3% on Jul 15 following the announcement. In fact, the company’s shares have risen 16.9% so far this year compared with the industry’s increase of 9.3%.
The candidate, WP1122, is the company’s lead metabolism/glycosylation inhibitor which the company originally planned to develop as potential treatment of central nervous system malignancies and for enhancing the usefulness of checkpoint inhibitors in cancer treatment. Currently, the company is developing WP1122 in pre-clinical stage. It is evaluating multiple analogs of WP1122 against various viruses including coronavirus. It believes that Sterling Pharma Solutions will be a reliable source of drug supply of WP1122 in the United States to support its increased pre-clinical development activity and expected clinical studies.
Note that any meaningful progress with a coronavirus treatment or vaccine by any company, including big pharma companies, has positively impacted its share price. Earlier this week, Moderna’s MRNA shares surged significantly following announcement of encouraging interim data from phase I study evaluating its coronavirus vaccine, mRNA-1273. Shares of AstraZeneca AZN gained on Jul 15 on anticipation of positive data on its under-development coronavirus vaccine, which should be announced by Oxford University later today. Shares of Pfizer PFE also gained earlier this week when the FDA granted fast track designation to two of its coronavirus vaccine candidates.
Successful development of coronavirus therapies/vaccines will boost the prospect of the company developing it amid widespread economic damage caused by the pandemic. A successful development of a vaccine should help the global economy revive.
Apart from WP1122, Moeculin is developing its lead pipeline candidate, annamycin, as a potential treatment for relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) in phase I/II studies. The company is also developing a p-STAT3 inhibitor candidate, WP1220, as a topical treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a form of skin cancer. It has four other candidates (excluding WP1122) in its pipeline in pre-clinical or early-stage development.
Moleculin Biotech, Inc. Price
Moleculin currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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