Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (CRBP) stock prices were down by a concerning 5.53% as of the market closing, bringing the price per share down to USD$2.05 at the end of the trading day. Subsequent pre-market fluctuations have seen the stock rise by 1.46%, bringing it up to USD$2.08.
New Licensing Deals
June 1st, 2021 saw CRBP announce two new licensing deals for its innovative monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). CRB-601 and CRB-602 both target integrins to inhibit the activation of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ). The new integrin program in conjunction with the company’s existing endocannabinoid system program both consolidate and diversify Corbus’ immunology pipeline for inflammatory, fibrotic, and metabolic diseases, as well as cancer. With the newest inclusion of mAbs, CRBP anticipates having four compounds other than lenabasum that will be in Phase 1 testing in 2022.
The multifunctional cytokine TGFβ is involved in many cellular processes, including, but not limited to, cell growth and differentiation, immune responses, wound healing, and tissue repair. TGFβ also plays a key role in fibrosis as well as in the promotion of cancer growth and metastasis with its effects in the tumor microenvironment.
αvβ6 and αvβ8
αvβ6 and αvβ8 are integrins that are expressed by cancer cells, while the former is also expressed on epithelial cells in fibrotic diseases. These integrins allow TGFβ to implement its biological effects by releasing it from its latent complex. The purpose of blocking these integrins is to inhibit the deleterious effects of TGFβ. Various preclinical and early clinical stage programs are testing this approach of inhibiting αv integrins.
Under the joint terms of the two exclusive licensing agreements, the company will make an upfront payment of USD$2 million. The company will also make potential development and sales milestone payments, up to a total of USD$206 million, and pay royalties on sales not exceeding 10%. As of March 31st, 2021, CRBP reported USD$125 million in cash and investments on hand. This capital is forecasted to fund operations through to the first quarter of 2024, based on existing spending trajectories.
Future Outlook for CRBP
Armed with a solid liquidity position and security for several years, CRBP is poised to capitalize on the continued development of its pipeline towards commercialization. The company is keen to consolidate its position as a cutting-edge frontrunner in the healthcare space, thereby ushering in further growth. Current and potential investors are hopeful that management will leverage the resources at their disposal to facilitate significant and sustained increases in shareholder value.