Why Janux Therapeutics Stock Soared as the Market Sagged Today


One of the hotter biotech companies on the scene might be changing owners before long.

Clinical-stage biotech Janux Therapeutics (JANX 11.47%) was a standout title on a gloomy Wednesday stock market. As investors fretted about an unfavorable inflation report from the federal government, bulls piled into the company’s shares on a report that it might be for sale. As a result, it closed the day almost 12% higher in price, contrasting very sharply with the nearly 1% decline of the bellwether S&P 500 index.

Hanging out the For Sale sign?

Bloomberg reported that Janux management is considering several options for its future. Among these are a possible sale. Citing unidentified “people with knowledge of the matter,” Bloomberg added that this follows expressions of interest from bigger pharmaceutical companies eager to acquire the clinical-stage biotech.

According to the financial news agency’s sources, Janux has retained a financial advisor to evaluate these options. The sources stressed that at the moment, there is no guarantee the company will pursue any of them.

Janux is a rapidly rising star in the biotech world. The cancer therapy-focused company is developing technology around “T-cell engagers,” (TRACTrs) which basically harness the body’s immune system to fight cancerous tumor cells. Recent phase 1a testing of a pair of these therapies yielded very encouraging results, and investors piled into the stock.

So if the company is sold, it will surely be to a deep-pocketed entity, hence the mention of well-capitalized pharmaceutical companies.

Watch this space for more

Janux has not yet commented on the Bloomberg report, and as usual in these situations, it isn’t likely to if such events are taking place. It’s entirely realistic to think that Big Pharma is sniffing around for a quick, if not cheap, asset buy that would give it promising investigational cancer treatments at a stroke. This is a biotech sector story well worth watching for new developments.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.



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