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Biotech "accelerator" Q BioMed has several shots at goal

The company is poised for a milestone-rich period over the next year or so
Biotech "accelerator" Q BioMed has several shots at goal
Rapidly developing firm QBIO has four candidates in its pipeline..

"I can count the number of microcap biotechs that have a revenue-generating drug in their pipeline on one hand, if I had four fingers amputated."

So jokes Denis Corin, chief executive of Q BioMed Inc (OTCMKTS:QBIO), as he described the company he started essentially from scratch two years ago.

He describes the firm as a biotech "accelerator", in which the aim is to breathe cash and strategic resources into biotech assets across the spectrum, from early stage to more commercially advanced, in order to realise value for his shareholders.

READ: Q BioMed eyeing two investigational new drug filings by year end

Potential to hit target

And because it's not just focused on one therapeutic area, the potential to hit the target is greater.

The company is poised for a milestone-rich period over the next year or so, and as alluded to above, sets itself apar from competitors, as it is poised to produce revenues from one product within weeks.

"Most biotechs are built around a particular idea or an invention by a scientist. We look at things from a strategic or investor standpoint," explains Corin. “Where do we inject resources to maximize return on that investment.” he continued.

READ: Q BioMed's $3mln equity financing provides runway for near term goals

A revenue-ready drug

QBIO has four candidates in the pipeline and the 'revenue ready' one is Strontium Chloride 89 (SR89) indicated for the treatment of the deep and debilitating pain associated with metastatic cancer that has taken up residence in the bone. It's FDA approved and is set to go on sale in the US in October. The company will launch its website for the drug in the next few weeks

The branded version of the product is currently not marketed at all and makes US$25mln on "autopilot" says Corin, so there is great potential to exploit the launch of this non-narcotic pain drug in an environment where opiate-based drugs are getting a lot of bad press, and for good reason. Sales will provide nice earnings for Q BioMed, but excitingly there is even bigger potential to expand the indications for this drug and extend the market further to exploit the drug's already known therapeutic qualities (it can shrink tumours).

To that end, a phase IV (post marketing) trial is planned for next year, which could provide entry into a US$1bn market opportunity, says Corin.

As it is, he expects Strontium Chloride to provide the firm with around US$1mln in revenues for the first 12 months, ramping up to between US$10mln-US$15mln over the next 18 to 24 months,  during which time the  phase IV will take place.

WATCH: Q BioMed's Denis Corin 'extremely pleased' to bring cancer pain drug to market

Sitting on cash..

The firm already sits on around US$3mln in cash from a recent financing, so this, along with sales of the pain drug, means any fundraising over the next year or so will not have to mean major dilution to investors and could mean an uplisting to Nasdaq or another senior exchange.

The first deal the group struck was with Mannin Research, a small private company with an early stage technology out of a prestigious lab at Northwestern University in Chicago. MAN-01 is a first in class eye drop for treating glaucoma and Corin says the firm will get that through a Phase I  trial (proof of concept), which would be a key milestone, since there hasn't been a successful new drug in the space for 20 years, creating huge demand and big premium from potential partners.

Particularly exciting, says Corin, is a third candidate they have called QBM-001, which is designed to treat a very rare paediatric condition, which the firm in-licensed from another small private biotech ASDERA, which was developed by a Rockefeller scientist.

The condition is one that affects very young (1 to 2yrs of age) children who are on the autistic spectrum. The result of which is what they call a ‘non-verbal disorder’ and is accompanied with developmental delay, where the toddlers either never learn to speak or lose the ability to speak. This emotionally devastating disorder affects approximately 50,000 youngsters a year worldwide (20,000 in the US alone).

If approved, it would likely get orphan status, and be the first and only drug on the market for the condition.

This month, the group said its partnership with Sphaera Pharma had successfully developed a new and proprietary analog of QBM-001 and it was set to move it into the clinic as soon as possible.

Massive potential..

Corin says he could have built a company around this drug alone and economically it has massive potential. The plan is to carry out a phase II/lll pivotal trial next year, with interim data coming out in late-2018.

There are 20,000 potential patients in the USA and up to 30,000 in the 'rest of the world', suggests Corin. As we have seen recently, orphan drug costs per year can be in the many hundreds of thousands of dollars, but even at the low end average price of $100,000 per year, this candidate alone has multi-billion dollar potential.

Finally, Q BioMed has also recently licensed a plant-based small molecule, which is a new chemotherapeutic drug for the treatment of liver cancer.

It has been used in its natural plant form traditionally in India to treat many liver ailments for hundreds of years. Recent pre-clinical testing specifically in liver cancer has shown highly positive results with the drug being 10 times more effective at killing cancer cells than the only currently marketed billion dollar liver cancer drug.

Corin says the plans is to spend a small sum on the drug and get it through the 'proof of concept' phase 1 trial in 2019, which would be a major milestone and open up partnership opportunities.

So there is much to look forward to from this smallcap, which has a clutch of potential catalysts coming down the track.

Corin recently summed it up in an interview for Bloomberg Television, in which he said: "We’ll probably be filing two IND’s by the end of this year so a tremendous amount of development ahead, some really great catalysts and we should have an NDA or a new drug application by the end of next year which will be phenomenal for a very young company.".

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