Regeneus (ASX:RGS) tackling osteoarthritis


by Jessica Amir

Regeneus Limited (ASX:RGS) CEO Leo Lee discusses the company's 1H19 results, its portfolio of novel cell-based therapies, progress with its Phase 2 trial of Progenza and strategy.

Jessica Amir: Hello, I'm Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network at FNN's Small Cap Investor event with Regeneus' (ASX:RGS) CEO Leo Lee.

Hello Leo, welcome back.

Leo Lee: Thank you. Nice to see you.

Jessica Amir: Thank you very much for your time today.

Leo Lee: My pleasure.

Jessica Amir: So for those who aren't familiar, you're a regenerative biotech company, purely focused on human health. Just give us an update on where the business is at today.

Leo Lee: Thank you very much. We're very excited about where we are. We have been working here for the past 12 months on finalising our commercial strategy in Japan, and we made very good progress there, and we intend to start our phase 2 study in Japan in the near future, probably in 2021, and the preparation is underway. With that, we expect to have a product in market in 2023, which is great news for us.

Jessica Amir: And Leo, you're somewhat new to the CEO role, so just tell us a little bit about yourself and what really attracted you to the company.

Leo Lee: My career primarily has been in large pharma working for companies like Allergan, MSD and Merck (NYSE:MRK), running regions for them, developing drugs in oncology, cardiovascular disease and many other. I came across Regeneus (ASX:RGS) about a year ago when they asked me to join the board, and since then I've taken a really good look at the company and I have a lot of confidence in our technology and the possibilities of our portfolio. So then in January 23rd, I accepted the offer from the board to become CEO.

Jessica Amir: Well, congratulations on the appointment, and we're looking forward to seeing what you bring to the company. But just for now, just give us an update on your portfolio.

Leo Lee: We have two technology platforms. One is called Progenza, which is primarily cells and then the chemicals they secrete to drive the healing. The other part is called Sygenus. It's primarily the secretions that are causing all the benefits in the body. Progenza, our first indication, our first disease we want to treat, is a disease called osteoarthritis, which is the pain in the knee that we all are familiar with, or many of us are familiar with. There are about 15 million patients around the world that suffer from this disease, and our first focus is the Japanese market, primarily because the Japanese government have kind of a super-highway for cell-based therapy. So we want to go to Japan first.

But very shortly, we'll be developing our strategy and then the clinical studies for US and Europe, and we're very excited about bringing these products to market to help all those patients in need.

Jessica Amir: And Leo, can you give us an update in your cancer vaccine business, as well as the animal health business?

Leo Lee: Our focus right now is on the cell-based therapy platforms Progenza and Sygenus. We intend to divest from our animal health business as well as our cancer vaccine. They're good businesses, and we intend to fully monetise them and bring value to our shareholders.

Jessica Amir: Now, let's move to the company's strategy. Just tell us how the business is progressing.

Leo Lee: I personally believe that our stock is under value and not really reflecting the potential and the commercial potential of these products in market.

Jessica Amir: And just lastly, before we let you go, what are your parting words for investors today, Leo?

Leo Lee: I've come to the company in January 23rd of this year, and I am a buyer of the stock, and I intend to become a major shareholder in this company because I believe in our platform, I believe in our ability to get to market, and most importantly I believe our therapy is really important for all those people that are suffering from osteoarthritis. I think we are undervalued, and I think it's a exciting time to take a look at Regeneus (ASX:RGS).

Jessica Amir: Wonderful. Leo Lee, thank you so much for the update.

Leo Lee: Thank you.


Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.