AveXis, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVXS)
Shares of AveXis, Inc skyrocketed on Monday following reports that the gene therapy company had entered into agreement with Novartis AG to be acquired for $8.7 billion.
Novartis, a pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland, plans the acquisition in a strategic move believed to be instigated by its new CEO Vas Narasimhan. The executive took over leadership role at Novartis two months ago.
He said that the acquisition would offer multibillion sales potential, and significantly increase the strength of his firm in gene therapies. At the time of publishing this article, shares of AveXis were exchanging hands at around $205 after gaining more than $89, or 77%.
AVXS Earnings & Outlook
AveXis posted its quarterly earnings data on February 27. In its earnings report, the company said it had an adjusted earnings per share of $2.55 for the quarter, beating Wall Street estimate of $1.64.
The company’s next quarterly earnings report is slated for May 9. The average EPS estimate for the company’s upcoming quarter by analysts is $2.24. The company has a market valuation of $4.26 billion.
AveXis has a total of 219 employees across the world. The company raised $86 million in an IPO in 2016. A total of 4.3 million shares were issued by the company at between $19.00 and $21.00 apiece.
AveXis CEO Comments
Chief Executive Officer of AveXis Sean Nolan said that the expertise, commitment, and drive of the AveXis team had created substantial shareholder value. Nolan said that Novartis recognized the potential of AveXis’ products line, which serves to transform the lives of persons devastated by life threatening and rare neurological diseases like genetic ALS, SMA, and Rett syndrome. “With worldwide extensive resources and reach, Novartis should advance our vision of taking gene therapy to patient all over the world as safely and quickly as possible,” the CEO concluded.
AveXis, Inc. Company Profile
AveXis, Inc. is a clinical-stage gene therapy firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The company engages in the development and research of neurological genetic diseases. AVXS-101, the company’s initial gene therapy product is used in the treatment of every type of spinal muscular atrophy.
It has license agreements and strategic collaboration with REGENXBIO Inc., The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital; and Asklepios Biopharmaceutical, Inc.
The company was founded in 2010 by John D. Harkey, Jr and was formerly known as BioLife Cell Bank, Inc. before changing to AveXis, Inc. four years ago. Its competitors include Genethon, Biogen, Voyager Therapeutics, Inc., Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Roche Holding Ltd. –Reuters