* Array to get $45 mln upfront payment
* Analysts see deal as a positive for Array
* Shares up as much as 38 pct
(Adds analyst comment, details, updates share movement)
April 20 Array BioPharma Inc (ARRY.O) shares
rose as much as 38 percent Tuesday, a day after it signed a
licensing deal for its cancer drug candidates with Swiss
drugmaker Novartis AG NOVN.VX, its second high-profile
partnership in five months.
The deal, which includes early stage candidate ARRY-162,
entitles Array to $45 million in upfront payments and $422
million in milestones. [ID:nSGE63I0M5]
"Financially and strategically, we view a cancer partnership
with Novartis as attractive as it is known for its strong
presence in oncology," Jefferies & Co analyst Eun Yang wrote in
a research note.
Yang said the deal boosted Array's current cash position to
about $140 million, which he estimated to be sufficient funding
for the next two years.
Array, which focuses on cancer, inflammatory and metabolic
diseases, had inked a partnership deal with Amgen Inc (AMGN.O)
for the development and marketing of its type 2 diabetes drug
in December. [ID:nSGE5BE0JO]
Rodman & Renshaw analyst Simos Simeonidis said he continued
to view Array shares as undervalued, and reiterated his "market
outperform" rating and $10 price target on the stock.
He said the stock remained one of his top picks, citing
Array's pipeline of four fully owned clinical programs and
numerous compounds partnered with big pharma and biotech
Array's clinical programs include candidates for the
treatment of multiple myeloma and breast cancer.
William Blair & Co analyst John Sonnier said he viewed the
Novartis transaction as further validation of Array's discovery
"Array's partnered programs represent over $2.0 billion in
potential milestones, and significant royalty on sales," he
said in a research note.
Array shares, which were one of the top percentage gainers
Tuesday on Nasdaq, were up 33 percent at $4.02 in high-volume
morning trade after touching a high of $4.17.
About 10.8 million shares changed hands, which is around 23
times the stock's 10-day moving average.
(Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by