Marker Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MRKR) Announces Leadership Transition and Strategic Partnership with CellReady to Strengthen Financial Position Through 2025
Houston-based Marker Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRKR) operates as a clinical-stage company focused on developing advanced T cell-based immunotherapies for hematological malignancies and solid tumor indications. Shares of the T cell immunotherapy developer are rallying 26% through early trading on Monday, May 1, 2023. Over the past three months, Marker Therapeutics has seen an average daily volume of 91,210 shares. However, volume of 982,430 shares or dollar volume of around $1.12 million, has already exchanged hands through early trading.
Shares of Marker Therapeutics are rallying after the company announced it has entered into a comprehensive non-dilutive agreement with CellReady™, a newly established Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) founded by John Wilson, who is also the founder and CEO of Wilson Wolf Corporation and a Marker Co-Founder and Board Member.
The agreement entails CellReady purchasing specific cell manufacturing assets from Marker for approximately $19 million in cash, while also reducing Marker’s overhead by around $11 million per year. This will be achieved by employing Marker’s manufacturing, development, quality, and regulatory affairs personnel and taking over the leases for Marker’s Houston-based manufacturing and research and development facilities. The transaction is expected to close on June 26, 2023.
In addition, CellReady has agreed to enter into a long-term contract with Marker to provide a wide range of services, including research and development, manufacturing, and regulatory support for Marker’s clinical trials. This partnership enables Marker to focus exclusively on the clinical advancement of its distinctive T cell therapy, which has shown the ability to detect and eliminate cancer cells even as they evolve to avoid recognition.
Current approved genetically engineered CAR T and TCR therapies have limitations in recognizing evolving cancer cells, which can result in relapse. The strategic partnership with CellReady is set to bolster Marker’s financial position and extend its financial runway through the end of 2025, allowing the company to concentrate on its innovative T cell therapy and overcome the limitations of existing therapies.
Newly-appointed CEO of Marker Therapeutics, Juan Vera, M.D., commented, “Marker’s management and impartial members of the board worked with John Wilson and CellReady to develop a very creative and non-dilutive plan that provides Marker with the financial runway to pursue its clinical priorities through the end of 2025. At the same time, through CellReady, Marker will maintain full access to its industry-leading operational, quality, development, and regulatory team and facilities whenever it needs them. I look forward to working with the Marker clinical team to advance the development of MT-601 in our ongoing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma trial and eventual pancreatic cancer trial, in addition to MT-401 for our post-transplant AML trail. Additionally, I am spearheading a strategic review process of our clinical programs with the Marker management team as part of our restructuring efforts.”
Disclosure: No position. Spotlight Growth has no relationships with any of the companies mentioned in this article and did not receive payment in any form for its creation. This is an opinion article and is not meant to be financial advise. We are not broker-dealers or investment professionals. Please conduct your own due diligence. For more information on our disclosures, please visit: https://spotlightgrowth.com/disclosures/