Biotechnology startups seem to be everywhere in Minnesota. But Plymouth-based Celcuity Inc. has broken away from the pack and is suddenly very big on investors’ radar.
On Thursday, April 8, Celcuity announced a licensing deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. On Friday, April 9, Celcuity’s stock shot up 51 percent. In the following trading sessions, the company’s stock has only climbed higher. Over the past week, the stock is up 86 percent. At the end of the day on April 8, the stock closed at $14.31 per share. The stock closed yesterday at $26.55 per share.
Celcuity secured a worldwide, exclusive license to develop and commercialize Pfizer’s gedatolisib, a medication that is in clinical development to treat advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
Celcuity was founded with the goal of finding better ways to diagnose and treat cancer. The company’s CELsignia platform analyzes a patient’s own tumor cells to determine what targeted therapies might be most effective.
“We are excited about the opportunity to utilize our CELsignia platform to support the development of a potential first-in-class targeted therapy like gedatolisib,” said Brian Sullivan, CEO and co-founder of Celcuity, in a statement.
Celcuity paid an upfront fee of $5 million in cash and $5 million in common stock to Pfizer. According to the company’s announcement: “Pfizer is eligible to receive up to $330 million of development and sales-based milestone payments and tiered royalties on potential sales.”
Pfizer reported revenue of $41.9 billion for 2020. The company has steadily been in the headlines for developing one of the vaccines for the Covid-19 virus.
Like many startup companies, Celcuity has no revenue from its products yet. For 2020 the company posted a net loss of $9.5 million. The company spends 80 percent of its operating expenses on research and development.
Celcuity was founded in 2012 and went public in 2017. At the end of 2020, Celcuity closed at $9.16 per share. As of yesterday’s close, it was up 190 percent year-to-date.
The company completed an offering of additional stock in late February. The company sold 1.97 million shares of stock at $14 per share. That raised $27.6 million for the company, before deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses. Shares purchased at $14 per share are up 90 percent as of yesterday’s market close.
The company also disclosed last week that it secured $25 million in debt financing from Innovatus Capital Partners.
Minneapolis-based Brightstone Venture Capital was an early investor in Celcuity. Brightstone managing general partner David Dalvey is on the Celcuity board of directors.
“We’re very pleased to be part of the growth of the company,” said Dalvey.