There are perhaps fewer more heartbreaking phrases out there than “Your child has brain cancer.” With that in mind, it’s little wonder that Kintara Therapeutics (NASDAQ:KTRA) was up substantially in Thursday afternoon trading. That major move up is thanks to a recent development made in preventing that phrase’s sheer terror from ever reaching parents.
Kintara’s latest development proved a winner. The FDA granted Kintara’s VAL-083 an “orphan drug designation.” That’s a designation for a drug that specifically targets rare diseases. Those diseases generally target less than 200,000 people worldwide. VAL-083 targets a disorder known as “diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma,” a kind of brain cancer that targets a handful of children.
Those drugs that land orphan drug status get extra perks as well. One of the biggest is what amounts to a legal monopoly. The drug is allowed complete market exclusivity for seven years. Granted, that also means a very small monopoly—less than 200,000 people monopoly—but it’s a monopoly nonetheless. Additionally, other perks include tax credits for clinical testing under certain conditions as well as other incentives to keep developing.
Kintara Therapeutics is not a heavily-traded stock. Currently, there’s very little information on its insider trading and no significant presence from hedge funds. Additionally, only two analysts have coverage on the stock, and Neither is even willing to offer a price target. Perhaps the most perplexing point of all: both call it a Hold.