Wednesday, June 18, 2014 4:28 pm
PARIS- Shares in French biotechnology company Cellectis soared by nearly 70 percent on Wednesday, boosted by news that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will take a stake in the firm to develop anti-cancer treatments.
Pfizer, the biggest drug-maker in the world, will acquire the holding via a capital increase and as part of a strategic global alliance, a joint statement said.
Pfizer will pay 9.25 euros per share for a 10 percent stake.
It will also provide initial funding of $80 million (59 million euros) and pay for some other research and development costs.
The subscription price is 49.0 percent above the price of Cellectis shares late on Tuesday, when they were quoted at 6.20 euros.
In mid-afternoon trading, the shares were up 67.7 percent at 10.40 euros.
The alliance is based on developing cell technology to standardise production of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) immunotherapies to treat cancer.
Analysts said that the deal and the share price surge showed the high level of investor interest in companies developing innovative new methods to fight tumours.
Cellectis is a young company that emerged from the French Pasteur research institute.