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Seelos Therapeutics stock flies on reverse merger, updates billion-dollar potential of its pipeline

The New York-based, clinical-stage biopharma has acquired the license to several late-stage clinical assets

An image of the brain
The New York-biotech focuses on developing technologies and therapeutics for the treatment of central nervous system and respiratory disorders

Seelos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SEEL) stock rocketed in pre-market trade Friday after the New York-based biopharmaceutical company shared details about the benefits of its reverse merger with Apricus Biosciences Inc and updated investors on pipeline developments.

The glimpse into the potential of the company’s pipeline was met with enthusiasm by investors and as a result, Seelos stock nearly doubled to $3.94 before the opening bell.

“Seelos successfully transitioned into a publicly traded company on Nasdaq by completing its reverse merger with Apricus Biosciences Inc on January 24, 2019,” said Seelos Therapeutics CEO Raj Mehra.

READ: Seelos Therapeutics extends gains on license of potential Parkinson's candidate created at UCLA

According to private equity investment manager Steven Highfill, the reverse merger with Apricus Biosciences was “a significant milestone” for Seelos that secures a strong partner in Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:LGND), which gives Seelos license to several late-stage clinical assets.

“Seelos is trading at its approximate cash value despite having several potential blockbuster candidates that could reach estimated peak sales of $1.89 billion if all of these candidates are approved,” wrote Highfill at Seeking Alpha.

Seelos has exclusively in-licensed the rights to a potential disease-modifying Parkinson’s disease therapy created by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

“In the short time span of two months since the merger, Seelos has acquired two exciting new programs: SLS-005, focused on orphan diseases in the central nervous system, and SLS-007, a family of peptidic inhibitors directed toward alpha-synuclein aggregates in Parkinson’s disease.”

SLS-007 has an initial focus on Parkinson's disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement, and symptoms include tremors and changes in speech and gait.

Seelos has exclusively in-licensed the rights to a family of peptide inhibitors from UCLA that target the aggregation of alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein).

The function of α-synuclein proteins in the healthy brain is unknown, but Parkinson's researchers are interested in it because it is a major constituent of Lewy bodies, protein clumps that are the pathological hallmark of the neurological disorder.

The company has designed the new program as SLS-007, with an initial focus on Parkinson's disease.

Pre-clinical data provides supportive evidence to slow progression, an early sign of disease-modifying potential in Parkinson’s disease.

Seelos will evaluate the potential for in-vivo delivery of SLS-007 in a Parkinson’s disease transgenic mice model.

Separately, Seelos acquired the worldwide development and commercial rights to Bioblast’s proprietary trehalose 90 mg IV solution and all inventory of the drug. Seelos has named this program SLS-005.

The first patient with Sanfilippo Syndrome expected to be dosed with Trehalose in an open-label Phase 2b trial in the second quarter of 2019

Sanfilippo Syndrome belongs to a group of diseases called mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS). It’s a rare disease in which the body doesn’t have certain enzymes to break down long chains of sugar molecules and can be fatal in some cases. In early childhood, children with the syndrome develop a developmental disability and may develop seizures. Patients with Sanfilippo Syndrome usually live into adolescence or early adulthood.

Seelos Therapeutics works on novel therapeutics for patients with central nervous system disorders and has a diversified pipeline of late-stage clinical assets in areas of high unmet need targeting psychiatric and movement disorders, including orphan diseases.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

Quick facts: Seelos Therapeutics

Price: 0.6756 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $35.99 m

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