Australian Drug Discovery Company AdAlta Pty Ltd., Announces IPO To Accelerate New Therapies For Lung Fibrosis

Published: Jul 08, 2016

Melbourne, Australia, July 8, 2016 / B3C newswire / -- AdAlta Limited, the biotechnology company specialising in the discovery and development of protein based therapeutics is seeking to raise up to AU$10 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian Securities Exchange to fund clinical studies with its lead compound (AD-114) which shows promise in treating fibrosis.

AdAlta has developed a novel technology platform that produces proteins which mimic the shape of shark antibodies and engineers their key stability features to create unique compounds, known as i-bodies, for therapeutic intervention in disease. The Company is utilising the power of its i-body technology platform to develop a pipeline of drugs, called i-bodies, with an initial focus on treating fibrotic diseases.

AdAlta’s first focus is on developing AD-114 for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other fibrotic diseases, for which current therapies have limited efficacy and where there is a high-unmet medical need.

AdAlta is seeking to take advantage of the fact global pharmaceutical companies are eager to access innovative new drug candidates to fill their pipelines. The Company’s strategy is to partner its i-body technology platform to generate early revenues and also to license its i-body drugs at an early stage, for example based on data from Phase I/II trials. AdAlta has no plan to commercialise new drugs arising from its technology itself and make investors wait up to a decade or more before they see any returns.

CEO Sam Cobb said, “Proceeds from the offer will be deployed to expedite our first candidate into Phase 1 human clinical trials and extend the technology into other diseases. Our strategy is to license this drug candidate on completion of the planned Phase 1 clinical studies proposed in the offer.

“The IPO funding will allow AdAlta to develop AD-114 to a point that will be ready for licensing to a major pharmaceutical company. There is heightened global interest in promising new treatments for fibrosis as well as for the new generations of antibody technologies.

“We also plan to expand our own internal development pipeline of novel proprietary i-body drug candidates generating sustainable future licensing opportunities.

“In addition, AdAlta intends to license or partner the i-body technology platform for drug discovery with pharmaceutical and biotechnology Companies, with the objective of earning up front, milestone payments and licensing revenues.

“Our business model of partnering our i-body library and early licensing of our proprietary i-body drug candidates offers both short-term and medium-term revenue opportunities and spreads the risk,” she said.

AdAlta Limited Offer Summary
• IPO raising $10 million (minimum of $8 million)
• Pre-money valuation of $15 million
• Over $11 million of funds applied to development to date
• Cornerstone investors to subscribe for $7 million (Yuuwa Capital, tier one institutional investors and high net-worths)
• Proposed ASX code: AAB

About AdAlta

AdAlta was founded nine years ago, based on discoveries made from scientists in the Co-operative Research Centre for Diagnostics, including CSIRO and La Trobe University, the AdAlta IPO is backed by leading healthcare funds and some of the most respected names in Australian biotechnology with track records of developing products in the life science and healthcare industry and their successful sale to international acquirers.

Investors include the highly respected Australian biotechnology pioneer Leon Serry as well as biotechnology investors and Yuuwa Capital Directors Dr James Williams and Liddy McCall who have been responsible for the commercialisation activities of multiple technologies that have led to five FDA approved products and delivered returns of 10X to seed investors through a trade sale of one of these companies.

Board members include experienced biotechnology executive Paul MacLeman and Dr John Chiplin, former CEO of ASX-listed Arana Therapeutics acquired by Cephalon Inc (now Teva) for US$200 million and Domantis which was developing a similar class of biological drugs and was acquired by global pharmaceutical group GSK for £230 million.

AdAlta also has a number of world class scientific advisors, who collectively have more than 20 drug products approved. Brian Richardson has 42 years of pharmaceutical experience, including as Head of Preclinical Research with Novartis, John Westwick with over 14 years’ experience was head of respiratory drug development at Novartis and David McGibney has over 19 years’ experience at Pfizer, including as Director and Site Head, Pfizer Sandwich.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing director Sam Cobb has over 15 years’ experience in business development and commercialisation of early stage technologies. Prior to AdAlta, she led business development at the Co-operative Research Centre for Diagnostics. Sam has also worked for several successful medical technology companies and the University of Queensland’s technology commercialisation businesses Uniquest and IMBcom.

AdAlta’s lead drug candidate, AD-114 has shown anti-fibrotic activity as well as anti-inflammatory activity in pre-clinical studies, which are important for preventing the disease and for the treatment of IPF.

Industry market intelligence firm Evaluate Pharma estimates worldwide sales of drugs for IPF will be approximately US$4.2 billion by 2020. There is currently no cure for IPF with most people living only 3 to 5 years after diagnosis and the two approved drugs do not provide a cure.

In addition to AD-114, over the past few years AdAlta has developed a highly valuable proprietary library containing over 2 billion unique i-body protein compounds from which a large number of drug candidates addressing a number of therapeutic areas could be identified.

There is a large demand for biological drugs including therapeutic proteins: with global sales revenue for all monoclonal antibody products in 2013 at approximately US$75 billion. Based on the current rate of approvals, antibody drug sales are expected to be approximately US$125 billion per annum by 2020. Drug companies are also eager to seek out sources of innovation, to combat the entry of biosimilars.

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