Tonix scraps Covid-19 licensing deal after just three months — shares spike
Penny stock biotech Tonix Pharmaceuticals reported in an SEC filing Monday that it was ending a licensing deal with New York infectious disease and oncology startup OyaGen. Tonix was slated to in-license OyaGen’s SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor candidate sangivamycin in a deal announced in April.
The move resulted in Tonix’s stock price $TNXP jumping 45%, ending the day at $1.73 a share.
OyaGen had given Tonix the option to acquire the rights for anything coming out of its platform “for the prevention or treatment of Covid-19 developed by OyaGen during the term of the License Agreement,” according to the filing. It also states:
The Company notified OyaGen of its intent to terminate the License Agreement on July 22, 2022, effective as of September 20, 2022. The Company reassessed its long-term commitments and concluded that it was in the Company’s best interest to terminate the License Agreement and return the development and commercialization rights to sangivamycin to OyaGen.
Tonix also announced that it is appointing Sina Bavari, the former CSO and scientific director at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), to EVP of infectious disease R&D.
Tonix had been beaten down over the last few years, with its lead drug candidate TNX-102 failing multiple Phase III trials for PTSD and, more recently, fibromyalgia. The original failure of TNX-102 SL, also known as Tonmya, in PTSD sunk Tonix’s stock price by roughly 80% in 2018. The drug, a reformulation of cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant that was FDA approved more than four decades ago, failed to improve PTSD when compared to placebo.
According to Tonix’s most recent quarterly statement, the biotech claims to have $152 million in current assets as of March 31.