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Why Shares Of Gene Therapy Company Genprex Are Surging Higher

Why Shares Of Gene Therapy Company Genprex Are Surging Higher

Shares of the micro-cap gene therapy company Genprex Inc (NASDAQ: GNPX) were advancing strongly on above-average volume Tuesday.

The Austin, Texas-based company, which focuses on developing therapies for cancer and diabetes patients, said it has entered into a licensing agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

This would grant the company exclusive worldwide license to the latter's portfolio of 16 patent applications and related technology for the treatment of cancer using the company's lead candidate Oncoprex in combination with immunotherapies.

Oncoprex is Genprex's lead drug candidate and TUSC2 gene therapy.

Genprex said it is preparing to file an IND application to initiate a clinical trial of Oncoprex in combination with Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE: MRK) Keytruda in non-small cell lung cancer.

Immunotherapy or immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy is the first-line standard-of-care for the majority of lung cancer patients, the company said.

It also highlighted published preclinical data that showed Oncoprex in combination with immunotherapies is more effective than either drug alone.

Genprex also said Oncoprex could work well with other immunotherapies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's (NYSE: BMY) Opdivo and Yervoy. The licensed IP also covers use of chemotherapy in combination with Oncoprex and immunotherapy, according to the company. 

In return for the in-licensing of patent and technology, Genprex said it is liable to pay MD Anderson an up-front license fee and annual maintenance fees, with the potential for milestone payments, sublicensing fees, and product royalties.

At last check, Genprex shares were jumping 68.11% to $3.88.

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