Shares of BeiGene Ltd. (BGNE -9.01%), a clinical-stage biotech developing new cancer therapies, climbed 38.9% in January, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The initiation of another pivotal trial with a Celgene Corporation (CELG)-partnered new therapy candidate, following a successful offering, made last month one to remember.
BeiGene's deal with Celgene is heating up. The China-based company began a pivotal liver cancer trial with tislelizumab to begin in January, then started the anti-PD-1 antibody's third global pivotal study with esophageal cancer patients to close out the month. In China, investigators are also running pivotal studies with Hodgkin lymphoma and bladder cancer patients.
After receiving $413 million from Celgene in the last half of 2017, BeiGene wasn't exactly strapped for cash. Following a monstrous $800 million follow-on offering of the company's U.S.-traded shares in the middle of January, it should have more than enough to keep operations humming along for years to come. Although the size of the offering was impressive, pricing it at $101.00 signaled confidence that also drove the stock higher.
Tislelizumab is just one of four potential new cancer therapies BeiGene has in clinical-stage development at the moment. Although the company has run a tight ship, racking up just $215 million in operating expenses in the first nine months of 2017, the quarters ahead could get a lot more expensive.
Luckily for BeiGene, cash raised from the U.S. offering, plus rights to sell Celgene's products in China, will go a long way to fund development of the company's burgeoning pipeline. Tislelizumab is just one of four candidates Beigene is testing in clinical-stage trials at the moment.