Q BioMed Inc (OTCQB:QBIO), a commercial-stage biotech company, announced Tuesday the initial commercial uptake of Strontium89, its US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the non-opioid treatment of metastatic cancer in the bone.
The company had announced the US-based launch of Strontium89 (Strontium Chloride Sr-89 Injection, USP) in the first quarter of 2020.
But the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic slowed the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in many patients throughout spring and into summer, and severely limited the industry's access to physicians due to restrictions on access and availability.
READ: Q BioMed launches program to bring metastatic bone pain drug Strontium89 to the EU and elsewhere
Despite these challenges, Q BioMed said the reintroduction of Strontium89 has received a warm response and enthusiasm from physicians, who are pleased that it is once again available for the benefit of their patients.
The company said there are now free-standing clinics in at least eight states that are undergoing the required operational steps to become a 'Strontium89 practice,' including having it on their radioactive materials license, with several clinics already up and running with patients being treated.
Beginning in October, treatment with Strontium89 in the hospital out-patient setting will be fully reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid, at which point, Q BioMed expects to see hospitals more actively treat patients as well.
Q BioMed said it is deploying a robust multi-channel marketing campaign, driving awareness amongst its target audiences, both on the physician and the patient side. The company will exhibit Strontium89 at several conferences including ASTRO (American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology) and ONS (Oncology Nursing Society) and will begin speaker programs later this fall.
In addition, virtual and live sales calls have been ongoing since June within the confines of COVID-19 access and expanded field force efforts are planned for the fourth quarter of 2020.
'Named patient' program
In September, Q BioMed launched its international 'Named Patient' program that enables physicians worldwide to order Strontium89 for their patients in need, and the response to this program has been robust, with orders taken in the UK and orders pending from at least seven other countries.
The regulatory registration process for full commercial access in the EU has commenced, with pan-EU approval expected by end of the year. In parallel, Q BioMed said it is midway through the registration process in many other countries, with approvals expected to begin in October and continue through Q1 of 2021.
"We anticipate revenues from Strontium89 to continue to ramp up significantly from our baseline in Q2 as we build capacity and demand worldwide,” said CEO Denis Corin in a statement.
“Looking towards 2021, we are assessing several potential clinical trial programs that may expand the indication beyond palliation into a therapeutic use that may increase patient survival, accessing the much larger therapeutic market.”
Contact the author: [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham