As Emplicure reports the first quarter of 2023, it is fully focused on the launch of the new tobacco-free nicotine product småå. The company has also carried out a directed share issue of 25 MSEK, gaining a new majority shareholder. BioStock contacted CEO Håkan Engqvist to find out more about his view on the latest developments and the near future.
Emplicure’s development is based on a patented bioceramic platform technology. The bioceramic materials are then combined with approved substances to create new and improved products. The business is divided into two subsidiaries. Emplipharm is currently developing drug formulations for the treatment of chronic pain. The other subsidiary, Amplicon, uses the platform to develop nicotine products aimed at the consumer market.
Amplicon launches småå
Right now, Amplicon is in an exciting phase, as it recently launched småå, the company’s first product on the Swedish market. Småå is a small nicotine pouch that, according to the company, offers a longer taste and nicotine experience for the user compared to other nicotine products.
The product is currently being launched in selected stores and online. To start with, focus is on taking in feedback to further refine the concept. Amplicon’s CEO Tomas Hammargren recently visited BioStock’s studio to tell us more about the launch.
Emplicure continues to work with drug formulation
While the commercialisation of småå is ongoing, the work within Emplipharm continues. After this winter’s results in the exploratory PK study with a candidate formulation, Emplipharm has continued working on the formulation. In the study, the long-term release of the active substance proved to be stable, and the aim is now to strengthen the initial release.
During the quarter, the company also initiated a collaboration with Swedish OnDosis. The two companies will jointly evaluate new solutions for oral delivery of active ingredient.
New majority shareholder in Emplicure strengthens finances
During the first quarter, cash flow in the company amounted to -6 MSEK and at the end of the period the cash position was 7.2 MSEK. During the quarter, the Board of Directors decided to request that the entire loan of 9.8 MSEK raised at the end of 2022 be converted into new shares in the company. In addition, the Annual General Meeting on May 2 gave the Board the green light to carry out further capital raising to strengthen the financial position of the company.
On May 24, a rights issue of 25 MSEK was announced, directed at the investment company TomEQT Private. The issue was carried out at a subscription price of 0.5 SEK per share, which according to the company exceeds the volume-weighted average price in the share between 9 and 23 May. The issue means that TomEQT Private will gain an ownership stake of 50.6 per cent of the total number of shares and votes in the company.
Comments from the CEO
To find out more about everything that is happening in the company right now, BioStock contacted Emplicure’s CEO Håkan Engqvist.
You are in the middle of launching småå. What feedback have you received from customers so far?
– Customers say that the taste and nicotine experience is strong and long-lasting even though the pouch size is small.
What are the plans for a broader rollout of the product?
– We continue to work on finding licensing and distribution partners for a broader launch of our technology. We will continue to sell through e-commerce and selected stores.
In your communication, you see small å as an important alternative to smoking, while your product itself may be more like snus. How do you view småå in relation to snus?
– Småå is a tobacco-free product and the formulation is not similar to traditional tobacco snus.
What types of active ingredients can be used to create products in collaboration with OnDosis?
– The collaboration is still in an early technological phase, and we have not focused on specific active ingredients yet. The choice of active ingredient and indication will be discussed later, provided that we together reach set milestones.
Finally, you get a new majority shareholder in the company in TomEQT. What’s your take on that?
– It’s great and important that we have a new major owner and new financing in the company. This allows us to look further ahead and implement our business plan with greater vigour.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.