Kiora Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KPRX) had an electrifying night on Wednesday as its stock skyrocketed 135% in post-market trading. The jaw-dropping surge came on the heels of the biotech company’s groundbreaking announcement of a partnership with Thea Open Innovation, a move slated to revolutionize the commercialization of Kiora’s ophthalmology drug KIO-301 for the treatment of inherited retinal diseases.
The crux of the deal entailed Kiora granting Thea exclusive global rights, excluding Asia, to develop and commercially unleash KIO-301. In turn, Kiora stands to receive a staggering $16M upfront, with the potential to earn up to $285M in milestone payments and tiered royalties ranging up to the low 20% mark on net sales. Furthermore, Thea will dutifully reimburse Kiora for their rigorous R&D expenses.
Thea Open Innovation boasts lineage as a sibling company of the renowned French ophthalmology products provider, Laboratoires Thea.
Kiora disclosed intentions to kick-start a Phase 2 study of the product for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa in early 2024, with eagerly-awaited results potentially breaking cover in the first half of 2025. Notably, Kiora has shouldered the mantle of responsibility for clinical development through Phase 2, with Thea set to assume primary responsibility thereafter.