By Colin Kellaher

 

Shares of Cellectis took flight in premarket trading Wednesday after the clinical-stage biotechnology company inked a lucrative research collaboration and investment agreement with drug giant AstraZeneca.

Under the agreement, Cellectis said it will receive an upfront payment of $25 million and an initial equity investment by AstraZeneca of $80 million at $5 a share, more than five times Tuesday's closing price of 97 cents.

The investment will give AstraZeneca roughly 22% of Cellectis' share capital and 21% voting rights.

Cellectis said it also signed a memorandum of understanding for an additional $140 million equity investment from AstraZeneca.

Cellectis said the collaboration will use its gene-editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities to design novel cell- and gene-therapy candidates.

The company said it will be eligible to receive an investigational new drug option fee and development, regulatory and sales-related milestone payments ranging from $70 million to $220 million for each of 10 candidate products, along with royalties on sales.

Cellectis shares were recently up nearly 160% to $2.51 in premarket trading.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 01, 2023 07:36 ET (11:36 GMT)

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