April 18, 2019

Mustang Bio stock soars on licensing deal for 'bubble boy disease'

Photo | Courtesy
Mustang Bio's building in Worcester

Mustang Bio, which operates a biomanufacturing facility in Worcester, saw its market cap nearly triple after it announced a licensing agreement with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for a treatment to treat bubble boy disease in infants.

The New York company's stock opened trading Thursday up more than 250 percent after the company said it will develop the lentiviral gene therapy for commercial use after an ongoing clinical trial.

The company and the Tennessee-based hospital announced the partnership after data was published from a study at the hospital finding the treatment to be effective and well tolerated.

XSCID, also known as bubble boy disease, is an inherited immune system disorder making infant males prone to chronic infections, which hinders growth and leads to death while still in infancy.

As part of the licensing agreement, patients' cells from all participating trial sites will be processed in the Worcester facility.

The company's stock skyrocketed to a high of $9.73 per share after closing at $2.66 Wednesday. That rose its market cap from $74 million to about $215 million.

The company and hospital will continue to work on the clinical trial, which also includes the Benioff Children's Hospital at the University of California San Francisco, the National Institutes of Health and Seattle Children's Hospital.

The company's Worcester cell processing facility opened in November and has since secured $20 million in venture debt financing to develop gene and cell therapies.

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