Drug development company e-Therapeutics (LON:ETX) today revealed it is fully funded as it approaches some significant milestones.
The company said that it now has enough working capital to see it through to the middle of 2014, adding a further six months onto previous estimates.
Importantly, the £11.7 mln of cash it had in the bank as at July 31 will see it funded not only through the phase I data for its key cancer drug, but also beyond when it expects to get the data from its phase II b trial on depression, which is tipped to come out in the second quarter of 2014.
“We’ve got the funds available to deliver some really significant milestones,” said e-Therapeutics’ chief financial officer Daniel Elger.
“Also within that time we expect to have the first new things coming out of the discovery efforts.
“We effectively restarted discovery when we cashed up last time in early 2011 and what we said last summer was that the first new outputs of that effort would be expected to come through to development by the end of 2013 – and that’s still the case.
“It’s also question of coming up with some exciting, new drug prospects through that discovery effort.”
E-Therapeutics reflected on a year of significant progress in its interim results this morning.
Clinical trials got underway during the period for the company’s lead cancer drug, with a phase I trial in the US for patients with brain cancer and a phase I trial in UK patients with solid tumours.
The first data is expected later this year, before final results in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The company has also advanced a number of other development programmes including treatments for major depressive disorder, MRSA and C.difficile.
The increased investment during this busy period led to an increased loss of £1.8 mln (H1 2011: £1.5 mln), though E-Therapeutics says it still has a strong balance sheet with £11.7 mln of cash remaining.
The longer term funding strategy is to attract licensing partners for the late-stage drug development work and commercialisation. Two drug candidates are currently the priority – the cancer drugs and the antidepressant.
“We are now close to reporting our first clinical data since our refinancing in 2011,” the company said in a statement.
“Initial findings from the cancer programme with ETS2101 will be followed next year by more extensive data, with final results from the brain cancer study expected in late 2013 and final results from the solid tumour study expected in the first quarter of 2014, followed soon afterwards by data from the phase IIb trial of our antidepressant, ETS6103.
“Advancing these two drugs rapidly towards potential partnering deals is our key priority, but we are also very enthusiastic about applying our unique discovery platform to generate further new candidates that will fuel long-term growth.”
City broker Panmure Gordon described today’s financials as “better than expected” and said it remains a buyer of the shares.
“e -Therapeutics possesses a technology platform that could revolutionise the way the pharmaceutical industry conducts drug development,” analyst Savvas Neophytou said in a note to clients.
“The platform is increasingly accepted as credible, and the company has intellectual property that puts it in a position of strength, which may necessitate others paying it a licensing fee or, alternatively, result in the company being acquired.”
Shares dipped 0.55 pence to 37.2 pence each today.