Thinly traded nano cap Pieris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PIRS) is up 16% premarket on increased volume in response to its option deal with Japanese firm ASKA Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for anemia drug PRS-080 for Japan and certain other Asian markets, its first. ASKA will have the exclusive option to license PRS-080 based on the completion of a Phase 2a study to be conducted by Pieris in dialysis-dependent anemia patients.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pieris will receive an immediate payment of $2.75M. Following an analysis period after the Phase 2a trial is completed, ASKA may exclusively license the product candidate in Japan, South Korea and certain other Asian markets (excluding China). It if does so, Pieris will be eligible to receive more than $80M in milestones and an option exercise fee related to the first indication in Japan. Pieris can earn additional milestones for additional indications as well as in other countries in ASKA's territory and will earn mid-to-high-teen royalties on net sales.
PRS-080, a PEGylated Anticalin protein that binds to hepcidin, is a naturally occurring regulator of iron in the blood. It is being developed for the treatment of functional iron deficiency in anemic patients with chronic kidney disease.