Lund based Iconovo did not sit still during the summer, instead the company released the biggest news of the year thus far. in mid-July, Iconovo  announced that a clinical pharmacokinetics study had established that Iconovo’s ICOres budesonide/formoterol is working according to expectations. The positive results led Erik Penser Bank to increase its motivated value of Iconovo from 360 MSEK to 410 MSEK, supporting the company’s confidence in the product.

Iconovo develops inhalation products that are later out-license to pharma companies, primarily those that develop generics. Therefore, the out-licensed products are usually a generic version of existing drugs. Iconovo also offers solid in-house expertise in both developing and producing the correct powder formulation for existing non-powder drugs – ensuring the same use and efficacy as the original product.

Currently, the company has three fully developed dry-powder inhalers – ICOcap, ICOone och ICOres – which can be prepared with substance-specific dry-powder preparations. In addition, Iconovo is developing its fourth inhaler platform, ICOpre.

The ICOres inhaler displays the number of doses left and provides visual feedback both when the dose is ready to be inhaled and when the dose is inhaled properly.

ICOres is a reservoir-based dry-powder inhaler particularly suitable for combination treatments due to its two separate reservoirs. The product also stands out by being very user-friendly. For example, it has a dose counter that tells the user the number of remaining doses, and it can also visually tell the user when a dose is inhaled properly.

Pharmacokinetics study with ICOres budesonide/formoterol

During the summer, Iconovo’s lead ICOres-product performed very well in a clinical pharmacokinetics study. The study, conducted with Amneal and CBC Corporation, compared ICOres budesonide/formoterol with the original Symbicort Turbuhaler from AstraZeneca.

The goal of the project is to produce a generic version of Symbicort Turbuhaler, mainly aiming to launch on the European market. ICOres budesonide/formoterol is probably the product with the greatest market potential in Iconovo’s pipeline, and is thus considered the company’s main project. According to the company, the value of the global market for a budesonide/formoterol combination is estimated at approximately 3 BUSD annually.

Very positive results

The results from the now completed study showed that ICOres budesonide/formoterol’s clinical performance was according to expectation and in line with the study’s primary objective. This means that ICOres delivered the expected amounts of the drug formulation, both in laboratory tests and in the clinical trial, without any signs of overdosing.

In addition, the study provided important information for the remaining development of the product as the dose needs to be adjusted to fully match the original drug.

CEO Orest Lastow commented:

– It is very gratifying to see for the first time how ICOres and our proprietary formulation work in humans. The clinical results were above expectations and I am very much looking forward to beginning the final phases of development.

Orest Lastow, CEO of Iconovo

Erik Penser increased the motivated company value  

The positive news did not go unnoticed. The market reacted positively, despite the general summer vacation mood, and the company’s share was traded upward from around SEK 50 to SEK 55. When Erik Penser Bank published an analysis of Iconovo last week, the ICOres budesonide/formoterol study results were once again highlighted as a clear indication that the company is on the right track and that the project follows the communicated time plan for launch in Europe during 2021.

The reasoning led to Erik Penser Bank reducing its operational risk for Iconovo from 10 to 8 per cent, resulting in an increased motivated value from 360 MSEK (SEK 53/share) to 410 MSEK (SEK 60/share).

A stock with high potential

It is also worth mentioning that the successful clinical trial was not the only strength that Erik Penser Bank emphasized. The analysis also underlined that they see potential in the stock based on Iconovo’s new partners, more vaccine research projects for the ICOone platform as well as sales of pre-developed medicines via the ICOcap platform run by the sales organization of Iconovo’s Italian partner Stevanato. Finally, it was found that Iconovo is considered a stock with high upside potential, but only medium risk.

The interim report points to the potential of ICOres

Moreover, Iconovo recently published its interim report for Q2 2019 which emphasized the importance of ICOres’s clinical results for future development. Iconovo’s CEO Orest Lastow specifically pointed to how user-friendly ICOres is, a feature he believes to be superior to all other products on the market. Supported by the clinical results, Iconovo is heading towards a market where the user-friendly dry-powder inhaler is expected to gain significant market penetration.

The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.