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SynAct Pharma’s CEO provides an update


SynAct Pharma’s CEO provides an update

2 May, 2024

SynAct Pharma has signed a contract with a CRO and aims to submit a Clinical Trial Application this quarter for the upcoming clinical phase IIb study with resomelagon. Furthermore, the company has conducted a capital raise of SEK 49 million, and the new board and management team are working to reduce costs.
– Together, the new team is more focused and ready to move fast, says CEO Jeppe Øvlesen. 

On March 20, SynAct Pharma held an Extraordinary General Meeting where the former Board of Directors were replaced with new members; Anders Kronborg, Sten Scheibye, Sten Sörensen och Jeppe Øvlesen. Following the EGM, Jeppe Øvlesen was appointed as new CEO, succeeding Torbjørn Bjerke effective immediately.

Jeppe Øvlesen
Jeppe Øvlesen, CEO SynAct Pharma

BioStock reached out to Jeppe Øvlesen to get an update on what has happened since the EGM.

SynAct has been busy since the EGM shareholder meeting on March 20. What is the team working on?

– The team has been incredibly busy over the past weeks since taking charge again at the end of March. It was important for us to regroup and make sure our plan for SynAct was in place. We now have a strong and experienced board, chaired by Anders Kronborg, including Sten Scheibye, Sten Sörensen and me. We also have the right management team to ensure our lead candidate resomelagon quickly gets back to the clinic to push the program forward. We know our shareholders are watching us and eager for progress. Together, the new team is more focused and ready to move fast.

The company raised about SEK 49 million at the end of March, what will the money be used for?

– The money we raised from the directed share issue makes it possible to continue resomelagon’s development into a phase IIb study in RA. The planned study is a dose-determining proof-of-concept study. The plan is to submit an application for a clinical trial, as part of the existing IND application, during the second quarter this year with results of the study expected to be presented in the second half of 2025.

– We now have a stronger investment base and are grateful for the support our Board of Directors and management team showed by investing at a premium. It proves their trust in the company and their belief in the potential of resomelagon to make a difference. We also welcomed Sanos Group as a new shareholder. It is a strategic investor that fully supports our long-term plans with resomelagon and also our goal of developing our pipeline of candidates.

SynAct is working to reduce costs. Can you explain?

We know the capital we have is thanks to those investors who have put their faith in resomelagon and our team. The entire team takes that seriously. We have been reviewing three remuneration components, to keep a balanced cost level and focus on long term success for Synact. First, the company is proposing to the AGM on May 31 that the remuneration to the Board, including related board committees, is cut by 46 per cent compared to before. Secondly, the remuneration for the management will be reduced by 27 per cent compared to now and finally, we are implementing a new incentive program, replacing the two existing programs. The dilution, after full dilution, will be 7.2 per cent. No new share incentive program is planned for the next few years. These initiatives will reduce costs while still keeping eyes on the long-term perspective as well.

– Again, we know we need to be cautious with the funds we have and focus on energy on developing resomelagon. We promised to cut costs at the company to make us nimbler and more focused on performance.

What is the next step for the development program of resomelagon?

– We now have a contract finalized with the contract research organization (CRO) for the planned phase IIb study in RA. This is an important step to get resomelagon back in the clinic. We will also soon be submitting the Clinical Trial Application (CTA) and updating our IND, putting us on track to get the study up and running. There are a lot of moving pieces right now, but the team is doing a great job getting everything lined up, especially I am pleased that our new CMO and our CSO are very well aligned on the way forward.

Business development has always been important for you, what is happening with this?

– Of course, business development has always played an important role for SynAct. We have a clear plan for resomelagon and will make sure those potential partners who have followed us in the past are aware of our progress. I will be heading to the Bio International Convention in the US in June. This is a big event for networking and partnering opportunities. We will be sure to be active doing such events to raise awareness for our good work. We also plan to host a Capital Markets Day after the summer in Stockholm. It is crucial we keep the market updated and this is a great way to connect with those interested in SynAct. We will share more details on the event as we come closer.

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.

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