PharmAust Shares Up 2.8% With Secured Funding for Clinical Trials

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Clinical-stage oncology company PharmAust Ltd [ASX:PAA] has seen a 2.8% increase in their share price today.

PharmAust are currently developing targeted cancer treatments for humans and animals. Their recent focus has been on an orally-administered mTOR inhibitor called monepantel.

PharmAust Raises $1.3 million in Rights Issue

In an announcement made today on the ASX, PharmAust revealed they had secured a further $1.3 billion in funding for clinical trials from the results of a rights issue.

The company received subscriptions for over 52 million shares at 2.5 cents per new share, raising $1,310,121.55.

PharmAust CEO Dr Roger Aston said he was ‘delighted’ with these results.

The proceeds will be used to complete the Phase I and II clinical programs examining the anticancer activity of monepantel in dogs with cancer, as well as initiating similar anticancer clinical trials in humans with cancer’.

We look forward to providing updates on the progress of monepantel in the clinic during the course of the year’.

Monepantel is the company’s anti-cancer drug that is currently being tested for its ability to suppress and regress tumours. Last month, the drug’s canine-based trial received positive results.

Positive results in Phase 1 clinical trials

PharmAust chief scientific officer Dr Richard Mollard says this trial provided evidence that ‘a single dose of monepantel can provide sufficient drug levels in serum to achieve anti-cancer activity’.

Unfortunately, these results were not replicated in prior monepantel tests done on humans.

However, with over six million dogs diagnosed with cancer every year in the US, developing such an easily administered cancer treatment may give PharmAust a strong foot in the pet market.

Also, the drug has still been proven to be effective on humans, just at a larger dose. Both human and dog patients in the clinical trials achieved their primary endpoints of tumour reduction. And the results from these most recent dog trials can be used to ‘inform and de-risk’ any future human trials.

The market for human mTOR inhibitors, like monepantel, is valued at over $2 billion per year.

Their subsidiary medicinal chemistry company, Epichem, generated $3 million in revenue last year.

It may be worthwhile keeping an eye on this company.


Ryan Clarkson-Ledward,

For Money Morning

PS: Stocks like PharmAust are clear indicators of the future potential of biotech. But, just like these clinical trials, there are a lot of risks and variables in this potentially lucrative sector of the market. Lucky for you, we have a free special report on ‘How to Invest in Biotech Stocks’ to help you navigate this exciting field. Download now.

About Ryan Clarkson-Ledward

Ryan Clarkson-Ledward is an Editor at Money Morning.

Ryan holds degrees in both communication and international business. He helps bring Money Morning readers the latest market updates, both locally and abroad. Ryan tackles all the issues investors need to know about that the mainstream media neglects.

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