Why Ovid, KemPharm, Sorrento, Aquestive Are Rallying

Ovid Therapeutics Inc. OVID, KemPharm Inc KMPH, Aquestive Therapeutics Inc AQST and Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. SRNE were among the health care gainers in Wednesday's premarket session. Here's what investors need to know. 

Ovid Hands Rights To Epilepsy Drug Back To Takeda: Ovid, which acquired co-development rights to epilepsy candidate soticlestat from Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited TAK in 2017, is now handing back all global rights to the candidate under a new exclusive agreement.

For the transfer of rights, Ovid will receive an upfront payment of $196 million, at closing, and potentially up to $600 million in regulatory and sales milestones.

Ovid is also eligible to receive tiered royalties beginning in the low double digits, and up to 20% on sales of soticlestat if it's approved and commercialized.

Ovid will have no further development or milestone obligations under the original 2017 collaboration, the companies said.

Soticlestat was proven effective in a Phase 2 study in pediatric patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Related Link: The Week Ahead In Biotech (Feb. 28-March 6): KemPharm, Gilead FDA Decisions and More Earnings

KemPharm, Aquestive Rally On ADHD Drug Approval: KemPharm announced late Tuesday the FDA approved its Azstarys, previously known as KP415, a once-daily product to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in patients ages six years and older.

Azstarys consists of serdexmethylphenidate, the company's prodrug of d-methylphenidate co-formulated with immediate-release d-MPH.
KemPharm is collaborating with Aquestive on an oral film dosage of KP415.

Sorrento Gains On Nod For COVID-19 Antibody Study: Sorrento said it has received clearance from the FDA to start the Phase 1 study of its intranasal antibody STI-2099. The study will evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of STI-2099 in both healthy volunteers and patients with mild COVID-19.

Sorrento said it expects to evaluate STI-2099 alone or in combination with STI-2020, another antibody that is being evaluated in an intravenous formulation against the dominant SARS-CoV-2 virus strain found in the U.S. as well as the emerging U.K. variant.

The Price Action: At last check Wednesday:

  • Ovid shares were jumping 44.19% to $4.27.
  • KemPharm was soaring 68.03% to $15.84. 
  • Aquestive was down 0.6% at $4.95. 
  • Sorrento shares were down 1.6% at $9.29. 

Related Link: The Daily Biotech Pulse: KemPharm ADHD Drug Gets The Nod, MediciNova Shelves Vaccine Study

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