Ebb & Flow
Less than a month after completing its acquisition of cancer and infectious disease company Celldex in a stock deal for about $75 million, Avant (NASDAQ:AVAN) has received cash covering more than half of the purchase price. Last week, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said it will pay the biotech $40 million up front and make a $10 million equity investment in exchange for an exclusive, worldwide license to Celldex's CDX-110 to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Avant is eligible for milestones that could exceed $390 million for the development and commercialization of CDX-110 and additional EGFRvIII vaccines that Pfizer may develop, plus double-digit royalties. The pharma will fund all development costs for CDX-110.
Investors were initially enthusiastic; driving the shares up $1.67 (14%) to $11.72 on Thursday after the deal was announced, but Avant ended the week down $0.16 to $10.22.
The stock has had a nice runup since the Celldex deal closed in mid-March, climbing $4.79 (68%) to a high close of $11.79 on April 3, when FDA approved Rotarix oral attenuated rotavirus vaccine to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis in infants. GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK) has rights to the vaccine from Avant.
Over that period, Avant added $71.5 million in market cap to $176 million. On Friday, the company's market cap was $152.6 million.
Celldex shareholders own 58% of the combined company.
Calling it quits
Citing difficult market conditions, gastrointestinal and genitourinary company Dynogen and special purpose acquisition company Apex Bioventures (AMEX:PEX) called off