C4XD shares up 40% on AstraZeneca payment

Shares of Manchester-based drug discovery company C4X Discovery Holdings plc rose as much as 40% after it announced that AstraZeneca has triggered an $11 million preclinical milestone payment to C4X under its NRF2 exclusive worldwide licence agreement worth up to $402 million.

C4X shares rose to around 12p to give the firm a current stock market value of about £30 million. C4X shares are down about 33% for the past 12 months.

In a stock exchange statement, the Manchester firm said: “C4X Discovery Holdings plc (AIM: C4XD), a pioneering Drug Discovery company, today announces that it has received a milestone payment of $11 million from AstraZeneca triggered by preclinical progress of C4XD’s NRF2 Activator programme.

“Under the terms of the licensing agreement announced in November 2022, C4XD received an initial $2 million upfront payment and is potentially entitled to receive up to $400 million in preclinical, clinical development and commercial milestones, and to tiered mid-single digit royalties on future sales.

“AstraZeneca is developing C4XD’s former NRF2 Activator programme to deliver an oral therapy for the treatment of inflammatory and respiratory diseases, with a lead focus on chronic respiratory disease.”

C4X Discovery CEO Clive Dix said: “This significant preclinical milestone payment marks the progress AstraZeneca has made in driving the NRF2 Activator programme forward.

“NRF2 is a challenging target and this achievement provides further validation of our ability to generate differentiated, quality molecules in immuno-inflammation.

“We believe that our unique approach can deliver transformative oral therapies for patients suffering from immuno-inflammatory diseases.

“This is a great start to our year and we are confident of seeing further progress across our entire portfolio in 2024.”