Mesoblast has jumped 30% in the last two days, following a quarterly financial and operations update, coupled with an announcement that it had entered into an exclusive license agreement. The collaboration with Novartis, for the development, manufacture and commercialization of Mesoblast’s remestemcel-L product, is for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), including that associated with COVID-19. The agreement included a $US50 million payment to Mesoblast.
Mesoblast Chief Executive Dr Silviu Itescu noted: “Our collaboration with Novartis will help ensure that remestemcel-L could become available to the many patients suffering from ARDS, the principal cause of mortality in COVID-19 infection. This agreement is in line with our corporate strategy to collaborate and partner with world-leading major pharma companies in order to maximize market access for our innovative cellular medicines.”
Mesoblast increased its investment in both clinical development and manufacturing to facilitate the potential availability of remestemcel-L for patients with COVID-19. These activities led to the strategic collaboration with Novartis to open new opportunities in respiratory indications. The collaboration aims to provide the commercial and manufacturing strength to bring the medicine to patients with COVID-19 and its life-threatening complication of ARDS.
While it has been a volatile 2020 for Mesoblast's share price, the ASX and Nasdaq listed pharmaceutical company has still managed to double in market cap in the last 12 months.