Shares of First Wave BioPharma Inc. FWBI soared 71.7% in active premarket trading Thursday, after the biopharmaceutical company announced an agreement to license Capeserod to Sanofi SNY, which First Wave will repurpose and develop for gastrointestinal indications. Trading volume swelled to 6.5 million shares, already more than double the full-day average of about 2.6 million shares, and enough to make the stock the third-most actively traded in Thursday’s premarket. First Wave said the licensing agreement includes a “modest” upfront payment, milestone payments and “single digit” percentage royalties on sales, but did not provide details on the amounts. “Securing an exclusive, worldwide license from Sanofi for Capeserod is potentially a transformative event for First Wave that adds a drug with a well-documented safety profile to our GI-focused development pipeline,” said First Wave Chief Executive James Sapirstein. The stock, which has closed below $1 everyday since July 13, has tumbled 92.9% year to date through Wednesday, while the iShares Biotechnology ETF IBB has slipped 3.2% and the S&P 500’s SPX 16.4% gain.
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