The process to reach a partnership deal continued for Respiratorius during the second quarter. At the same time, the company continues to build on the VAL001 project, and were able to present results from a collaboration with the University of North Carolina during the period. BioStock contacted CEO Johan Drott to find out more.
VAL001 is a drug candidate being developed for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. With good preclinical and clinical data, VAL001 has demonstrated the ability to significantly reduce mortality risk for patients with DLBCL. This has led to a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to go directly from phase I/IIa to phase III.
With this strong background, Lund-based Respiratorius is in full swing to find a partner who can take the project further in development.
Model points to successes in phase III
The company was recently able to report the results of a project it carried out together with researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC). The researchers have developed a model based on preclinical and clinical data, to simulate the results of a phase III study of VAL001 for DLBCL.
The model indicates that VAL001 has a very high probability for success in an upcoming phase III study, which according to the company should make it an attractive investment for a partner. Respiratorius’ CEO Johan Drott visited BioStock’s studio to talk more about the project, in an interview that you can see here.
During the quarter, the company also took the next step in its strategy to protect the product with the filing of a new patent application. The application is based on results generated in the work on the newly developed formulation of the drug candidate. Upon approval, the patent would give exclusive marketing rights for at least 20 years. VAL001 would thus be protected until 2043.
Looking at the financial part of the quarterly report, the result landed at -1.8 MSEK, which can be compared with -5.7 MSEK for the corresponding period last year. Cash at the end of the period amounted to approximately 3.8 MSEK.
BioStock contacted Johan Drott for a comment on the newly released quarterly report and how he sees the development going forward.
There are many who are eagerly awaiting a deal regarding VAL001. Can you say something about where you are in that process?
– There are some parties interested in the project and we have an active dialogue, but I cannot comment on exactly where we are in the process.
How would you say that your work with the University of North Carolina strengthens the project?
– The results from the modelling work confirm that VAL001 is a promising drug candidate with a good prognosis for a positive outcome of a phase III study. We believe that the report strengthens the project in discussions with possible partners.
– However, the report does not affect the previous decision not to conduct a phase III study in-house.
You leave the quarter with a cash position of approximately 3.8 MSEK. How do you view the financial situation in the company?
– We do not have an infinite cash balance, but at present we believe that the cash is sufficient for the current plan, which does not include any development work. There is therefore currently no plan for any further capital raising.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.