Sometimes you don't even have to have an actual development pact to get investors revved up, as Neuropharm proved today. The UK biotech told investors that it's getting close to a deal for NPL-2008--its lead autism drug--and investors responded by pushing its stock up 45 percent.
A source told Reuters that Neuropharm is in talks with a "large cap neurology and psychiatry specialist."
"Following considerable interest in NPL-2008 from a number of parties, discussions have progressed well with a third party pharmaceutical company for a potential collaboration which would encompass the further development and commercialisation of NPL-2008," the company announced. "Neuropharm is therefore developing study designs for a second Phase III study, in conjunction with the partner. Neuropharm's intention would be to conduct a further Phase III study for NPL-2008 with a modified trial design, incorporating the important findings and insights from SOFIA, which will be funded through the collaboration. It is expected that a deal will be signed by the autumn of this year."
"If Neuropharm could secure a deal to fund NPL-2008's ongoing development and commercialization, this could provide significant upside to our forecasts and valuation," said Piper Jaffray in a note. Last February Neuropharm's shares tanked on the news that NPL-2008 had missed a primary endpoint.