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Stayble Therapeutics focuses partly on developing its candidate STA363, which is currently undergoing phase IIb, and partly on preparing for the next target – a future partnership to take the candidate through phase III studies and all the way to the market. BioStock contacted Jane Buus Laursen, board member of Stayble Therapeutics, to learn more about the partnering opportunities for the company and what the market landscape for STA363 looks like.

Stayble Therapeutics develops an injection treatment for chronic disc-related back pain aimed at those patients who do not get better from physiotherapy and analgesics. The goal of the company’s drug candidate STA363 is to address the underlying cause of the disc-related back pain and thus provide the patient with permanent pain relief by just one injection.

A phase IIb study with STA363 is currently underway in the Netherlands, Russia and Spain with the aim of confirming the efficacy of the drug candidate. Stayble Therapeutics expects to present final results from the study in the second half of 2022. Thereafter, the ambition is to license STA363 to a resourceful partner who can complete the clinical development up to market approval and launch.

Clear goal – launching a drug for millions of patients who are without effective treatment

STA363, which consists of the well-known substance lactic acid, is injected into the disc center, causing a transformation of the disc into connective tissue. This stabilises the disc segment and prevents leakage of inflammatory substances, which is expected to reduce the back pain that has occurred due to the degenerated disc.

According to Stayble Therapeutics, there are no other companies that use the same approach to reduce chronic disc-related back pain. In addition, there are no approved effective treatments that address the underlying causes of the disease. The company’s vision is to fill the huge medical gap by launching a simple and effective treatment for chronic disc-related back pain.

Jane Buus Laursen about the hunt for right partner 

In order to reach the market with STA363 as soon as possible, Stayble Therapeutics aims to enter into partnerships for further development and commercialisation. A person who will provide input to the company’s strategy for the search for partners is Jane Buus Laursen, board member of Stayble Therapeutics, who has extensive experience in business transactions in the pharmaceutical industry, including licensing agreements, mergers, spin-offs and commercial partnerships.

Jane Buus Laursen is Corporate Vice President and head of Novo Nordisk’s Late Stage & Commercial Business Development. She has previously worked at AstraZeneca where she was involved in a number of deals with pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as academia. BioStock contacted Jane Buus Laursen to learn more about Stayble Therapeutics’ path to partnership.

Jane Buus Laursen, Board Member, Stayble Therapeutics

Jane Buus Laursen, in what way can your past experiences and network be useful in the search for potential partners?

– I have a broad experience in designing tailor-made deal structures that meet the needs of both parties. In addition, my understanding for the value creation for both small companies, such as Stayble, and large commercial organisations will be useful. My focus is to find a win-win situation where the strengths of both parties are used.

– In my corporate pharma roles, I have run several projects with the aim to secure development partners and commercial partners.Inaddition, I have a network in the field of pain from previous projects.

What kind of company would be an optimal partner for Stayble Therapeutics?

– A suitable partner for Stayble would be a company with the right expertise in late-stage development and commercialisation of products in pain treatment and orthopaedics. It would also be desirable to have a partner with expertise in relevant patient segments and experience in market access and dialogues with payers. It can be both pharmaceutical companies and medtech companies.

What strengths do you think Stayble Therapeutics should highlight in partner discussions?

– Stayble has a programme with demonstrated clinical safety and efficacy at the time of partnering. The company has developed a product that addresses a major unmet medical need in an area where patients’ daily lives and work capacity are significantly affected.

-It is a simple product with low complexity and low risk associated with manufacturing as well as a logical scientific basis. All in all, we believe it can be an attractive proposition for partners.

How has interest in Stayble Therapeutics’ treatment concept been so far among potential partners?

– There has been broad interest from potential partners in both the pharma and medtech sectors. TheStayble team has ongoing dialogues with several potential global and regional partners.

»There has been broad interest from potential partners in both the pharma and medtech sectors. TheStayble team has ongoing dialogues with several potential global and regional partners.«

– There has also been an increased interest as study data have been produced. It is clear that the upcoming data on clinical efficacy from the phase IIb study with STA363 is crucial.

Can you briefly describe how the partner or license agreements might be designed?

 – It all depends on the partner and how the synergy is created between the companies; it can be global as well as regional agreements.

 Can you tell us a bit about what the market landscape looks like for Stayble Therapeutics?

– There is currently no treatment for disc-related backpain other than pain relief and spinal fusion surgery. Stayble has a couple of competitors who are also in the clinical phase of development. Some of them have already carried out big deals with global pharmapartners, which shows the potential of the product.

»There is currently no treatment for disc-related backpain other than pain relief and spinal fusion surgery.«

Finally, do you think there is a possibility that Stayble have found the right partner within a three-year period?

– As soon as we have data from the ongoing phase IIb study that shows efficacy, partners will be very interested. At that point,Stayblewill be able tof ind a partner and choose a way forward.

 

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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