Conatus Shares Skyrocket After Novartis License Deal

By Wallace Witkowski Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. skyrocketed in the extended session Monday after the microcap biotech announced a licensing and collaboration agreement with Novartis AG for a liver disease treatment. Conatus shares surged 150% to $4.90 after hours on heavy volume. The company said it will receive $50 million upfront from Novartis in addition to other payments for an exclusive option, collaboration and licensing agreement for its liver disease drug emricasan. Novartis will also pay 50% of development costs for the drug after the exercise of options, Conatus said.

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