Why the Bionomics (ASX:BNO) share price surged 8% higher today

The Bionomics share price is marching higher after the company announced that it will exclusively licence its BNC101 drug to Carina.

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The Bionomics Ltd (ASX: BNO) share price has run higher today after the company announced it has entered an agreement to licence its oncology drug candidate, BNC101, to Carina Biotech. At the market’s close, the Bionomics share price had surged 8.33% to 13 cents.

What’s pushing the Bionomics share price?

The Bionomics share price has marched higher today after the company advised that it will exclusively licence BNC101 to Carina. The agreement will see the development of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy using Bionomics’ flagship drug. CAR-T is known to harness the body’s immune system to fight against cancer.

According to the company, BNC101 is a high-quality, humanised monoclonal antibody to LGR5, which creates copies in cancer stem cells. These occur within solid tumours including colorectal, breast, pancreatic, ovarian, lung, liver and gastric cancers. Bionomics reports that the drug has the potential to guide CAR-T therapeutic development.

Under the agreement, Carina will fund all research and development activities. Bionomics is eligible to receive up to $118 million in clinical and development milestones plus royalties. This is based on the terms that Carina can develop and market the new therapy.

Should Carina decide to sub-licence the CAR-T treatment, Bionomics will be eligible to share in the sub-licencing revenues in early clinical development. If later stages of development are reached, Bionomics has advised it will receive “a substantial double-digit portion of revenues”.

Management commentary

Bionomics Executive Chair, Dr Errol De Souza, spoke about the new partnership. He said:

We are very excited to have entered into this agreement with Carina Biotech given the opportunity CAR-T therapy offers. This innovative approach has the potential to create a new cancer treatment.

Bionomics retains BNC101 for other types of therapies and is continuing to search for such opportunities. This is in keeping with our corporate strategy to leverage value for our clinical oncology assets by working with other companies bringing proprietary technology to the table and providing full funding to progress development of our assets.

About the Bionomics share price

The Bionomics share price has fallen from grace over the past few years. In 2018, shares in the biopharma company reached as high as 59 cents, with today’s closing price representing nearly an 80% decline from these levels.

The company has a market capitalisation of $95.6 million. Only time will tell whether the Bionomics share price can regain its former glory.

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