The extension of the collaboration between RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp. (RXII:NASDAQ) and PCI Biotech AS (PCIB:OSE), initiated in April 2015, was announced on May 22. Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Per Walday, CEO of PCI Biotech, said, "Our collaboration with RXi has been most fruitful and demonstrated a clear positive technological synergy that could realise significant value when applied to the emerging field of immuno-oncology."
"In the immuno-oncology space, where everybody talks about potency and safety of combinations, this continued and more focused collaboration could advance this therapeutic area significantly," Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, RXi's president and CEO, stated in the company press release.
In a May 22 note, Marcel Wijma of Van Leeuwenhoeck Research commented that the collaboration strengthens RXi's position in the field of cancer research.
"The PCI technology works by inducing triggered endosomal release and may be used to unlock the true therapeutic potential of a wide array of modalities, such as small molecules, ADCs and siRNA. Two programs are currently in clinical development in patient populations with a high unmet medical need; recurrent head and neck cancer (phase II) and bile duct cancer (phase I/II)," Wijma wrote. "We have increased our valuation on RXi Pharmaceuticals to USD 100-125 million or USD 4.50-5.50 per share from USD 75-100 million or USD 3.50-4.50 per share due to the fact that we have increased our LOA and market potential for RXi's lead product RXI-109."
Wijma expects the company will reach a number of milestones over the next year that could propel its stock price upward, including providing data on multiple checkpoint-inhibiting sd-rxRNA compounds "cotransfected in CAR T-cells in mouse models for ovarian cancer," preclinical results on "use of sd-rxRNA with TILs in melanoma," final data readout in a Phase 2 study of lead compound RXI-109 in hypertrophic scarring, data readout and "possible out-licensing" in a Phase 2 study of Samcyprone for the treatment of cutaneous warts and, in 2018, the entrance of one of its sd-rxRNA checkpoint inhibitors into clinical development.
In a May 4 research report, Keith Markey of Griffin Securities outlined the potential for RXi moving forward. "RXi added a multi-faceted oncology platform to its R&D pipeline with the January acquisition of MirImmune," Markey wrote.
"The addition of checkpoint inhibitors to the R&D pipeline places RXi in one of the hottest areas of scientific research today." Markey noted. "Six self-delivering siRNAs (sd-rxRNAs) have been created to enhance the safety and/or effectiveness of cellular immunotherapies and vaccines."
Commenting on the "important results" the company expects to release this year, "We note that the formulations of RXI-109 for ocular indications should appeal to pharmaceutical companies specializing in ophthalmic medicines, while the dermal products RXI-109 and Samcyprone may attract the interest of a dermatology specialty company. On the other hand, RXI-231 and RXI-185 were designed as active ingredients for cosmetics and as such, data demonstrating their safety and activity in human testing should suffice in securing a deal(s)."
With regard to the immunotherapeutic side of RXi's business, Markey noted, "We believe RXi's checkpoint inhibitors offer an attractive, cost-effective mechanism to improve cellular immunotherapies and cancer vaccines in a value-based healthcare environment."
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Disclosures from Van Leeuwenhoeck Research, RXi Pharmaceuticals Inc., May 22, 2017
Marcel Wijma, Chief Research Officer and managing partner, has a longstanding history in financial biotech research. After selling Van Leeuwenhoeck Research (VLR) to SNS Securities in 2006, he established an award winning analyst team in biotech/life sciences at SNS Securities. In 2009, Marcel was awarded by Financial Times/Starmine as being one of the Top-3 biotech analysts in Europe. Later that year, Marcel purchased VLR from SNS Securities after which the company was reconstituted. At VLR, he leads the professional VLR research organisation, which is augmented by selected external financial researchers with a specialisation in Life Sciences. Mr. Wijma has a Masters degree in Financial Economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Van Leeuwenhoeck Institute does not hold or have positions in securities as referred to in this publication.The views expressed in this publication accurately reflect the analyst’s personal views on the subject securities or issuer. Neither the analyst’s compensation nor the compensation received by Van Leeuwenhoeck Institute is in any way related to the specific recommendations or views contained in this publication.
Van Leeuwenhoeck Institute does not accept any equity compensation. Reports are performed on behalf of the public, and are not a service to any company. The analysts are responsible only to the public, and are paid in advance to eliminate pecuniary interests and insure independence.
Disclosures from Griffin Securities, RXi Pharmaceuticals Inc., May 4, 2017
ANALYST(s) CERTIFICATION: The analyst responsible for covering the securities in this report certify that the views expressed in this research report accurately reflect their personal views about the subject Companies mentioned and its securities. The analyst responsible for covering the securities in this report certify that no part of their compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or view contained in this research report.
The analyst Keith A. Markey who is responsible for covering the securities in this report receives compensation based upon, among other factors, the overall profitability of Griffin Securities, including profits derived from investment banking revenue. Keith A. Markey who prepared the research report, did not receive any compensation from the Companies or any other companies mentioned in this report in connection with the preparation of this report.
The analyst Keith A. Markey who is responsible for covering the securities in this report currently does not own common stock in the Companies or any other companies mentioned in this report, but in the future may from time to time engage in transactions with respect to the Companies or other companies mentioned in the report.
Griffin Securities has received compensation from RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXII) in the past 12 months for investment banking services.
Griffin Securities, Inc. has managed or co-managed a public offering for RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (RXII) in the past 12 months.
Griffin Securities from time to time in the future may request expenses to be paid for copying, printing, mailing and distribution of the report by the Companies and other companies mentioned in this report. Griffin Securities expects to receive, or intends to seek, compensation for investment banking services from the Companies in the next three months.