Factor Therapeutics (ASX:FTT) discusses its clinical wound care trials and results

Interviews

by Carolyn Herbert

Factor Therapeutics Limited (ASX:FTT) Executive Director, Dr Christian Behrenbruch talks about the company’s clinical wound care trial progress, the highlights from recent results and outlook.


Factor Therapeutics Limited (ASX:FTT) is actually a spinout from the University of Queensland. The University developed some very innovative wound care technology and the company’s mission is to commercialise it. We’ve over the years, developed intellectual property from other places as well, but UQ is still very much a cornerstone source of our IP.

So we have two forefront clinical programs. So the first one is in venous leg ulcers. We’re currently running a Phase IIb trial in the United States, it’s a multicentre trial, about 25 sites and it’s recruiting quite well. And then our second program is in diabetic foot ulcers; this is a little bit further behind. We’re still in the development stage, but we’re hoping to kick off a clinical trial in the next 12 months or so.

We announced a really exciting collaboration with Monash earlier in the year. A very talented group at Monash developed a potential drug candidate for treating Harlequin lchthyosis; it’s a bit of a mouthful. But essentially, it’s a rare congenital disorder that leads to skin barrier disruption. It’s a really serious disease that typically has a high morbidity and high mortality rate, associated with it. But it’s a rare disease, an orphan disease and so we have potentially, a novel treatment for that condition.

We’ll be announcing, hopefully before the end of the year, that we’ve recruited the enrolment and the outcome of our Phase IIb trial in the US. As far as the orphan collaborations go, we’re hoping to be able to give an update in the next month or so, about where those programs are going. I think in general, we have a pipeline of products that we’ll have readouts over the next six months and hopefully, lots of opportunities to update the market.

We’re a development stage biotech company, so we don’t have a whole lot to report yet on revenue. I think the key points are that we’re on track with our expenditures, relative to our last financing. We’ve certainly shown a lot of prudence with the use of capital. So I think we’ve been able to show shareholders that we’re able to stick to a plan, and deliver on the milestones that we had articulated during our last financing.

So this is the exciting thing about our company, it’s a massive market opportunity. So venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers, or let’s say chronic leg ulcers together, have been sort of labelled as a silent epidemic. And it’s estimated that in the US for example, it’s about six to eight per cent of healthcare costs. So it affects hundreds of thousands of people and really, there’s an unmet need for this technology. So the market opportunity is very, very substantial and the data we will get out of this Phase II trial, will really determine where the company is positioned in that market.

So we’ve got a lot of great readouts over the next six months. And clearly leading into the results of our Phase II trial, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities to reach out to the market. This trial, to recap, is important because it gives us a decision-making point for our Phase III. It gives us the ability to go and seek a product approval in Europe, and it’s really the catalyst for a final collaboration. So we would expect that this trial if successful, will allow us to enter into some commercial partnerships, which would be clearly newsworthy.


In terms of the long-term objective of the company, baby biotech companies get bought. And our company has a very exciting product, it’s been recognised as an exciting product by the industry. The way in which we’re developing it is highly innovative and so we expect that a good clinical trial readout, would lead to M&A opportunities for the company.


Ends

Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.