Why Repligen Corporation Shares Jumped

Repligen announces a deal to unload a non-core asset and shareholders cheer the decision.

Jan 22, 2014 at 4:23PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Repligen (NASDAQ:RGEN), a life sciences company that develops consumable products used in the process of manufacturing biological drugs, jumped as much as 12% after announcing an asset purchase agreement with BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN) for its histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) portfolio.

So what: According to Repligen's press release, it will out-license its HDACi portfolio for an up-front payment of $2 million with the potential to earn up to $160 million in future milestone payments related to the development, approval, and sale of compounds in this product portfolio. Specifically, Repligen's HDACi portfolio offers promise in treating Friedreich's ataxia, a rare genetic condition that affects the central nervous system, as well as other neurological disorders.

Now what: The deal looks like a win-win for both companies involved, with BioMarin looking to continue its domination of the rare disease arena and Repligen looking to unload non-core focused businesses, such as its HDACi program, so it can instead focus on expanding its bioprocessing business. With Repligen already profitable, it has very little to lose in its agreement with BioMarin, so shareholders certainly have a reason to be excited in my view.

Repligen may be jumping today, but it could have a hard time keeping pace with this top stock in 2014
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Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool recommends BioMarin Pharmaceutical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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