AdAlta Limited (ASX:1AD) Executive Chairman, Dr Paul MacLeman talks about the company's collaboration with GE Healthcare.
Rachael Jones: Hello, I'm Rachel Jones for the Finance News Network. Joining me today from AdAlta (ASX:1AD) is executive chairmen, Dr Paul MacLeman. Paul, welcome to FNN.
Dr Paul MacLeman: Hi there, thanks for having me Rachael.
Rachael Jones: So, first up Paul, could you start by giving us an introduction to AdAlta (ASX:1AD)?
Dr Paul MacLeman: So, AdAlta is a company that's been around for about 12 years. We're a third generation antibody developing a biologics drugs development platform. And our lead program is currently focused on fibrosis targets and we are preparing to enter the clinic for a product to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Rachael Jones: Now, Paul, you've announced a collaboration recently with GE Healthcare. Can you talk us through this collaboration and what it means for AdAlta?
Dr Paul MacLeman: This is a huge deal for the company. Under this arrangement we'll be co-developing a new range of molecular diagnostic tools for GE. GE's one of the largest players in the global healthcare sector and a really great partner for AdAlta in terms of confirming the commerciality of our platform. This is the first major deal we've done on our next generation antibody platform called the i-Body platform. And the i-Body's are a way of targeting different drug targets and diseases, and really providing healthcare solutions that haven't previously been possible.
Rachael Jones: And Paul, why is a collaboration like this important?
Dr Paul MacLeman: As you know we're working at speed getting our own lead drug, AD-214, into human trials. These trials are on track to commence in the next few months. What this agreement does for us is provide additional non-diluted funding that assists us to progress those programs as quickly as we can. And the importance of that for us is that the progression of AD-214 into the clinic, into humans for the first time is really a major validation of the therapeutic value of the company and the company's products. And really adds an enormous amount of value to our platform, technology, and our attractiveness to other partners in the therapeutic space.
Rachael Jones: Now, these sorts of deals don't come together overnight. I imagine you've been working on this for a while.
Dr Paul MacLeman: You're absolutely right, we've been working on this for between six and twelve months and the whole team and also the board in fact has been really big contributors to this. And we're absolutely delighted that this has come together now. It's important to acknowledge that no one person brings these things together, and the entire AdAlta management team drove this forward, including Sam Cobb our recently resigned CEO. And it's a great achievement for the team and the board. And my thanks go out to all of those who've been involved in bringing this over the line.
Rachael Jones: Well, congratulations to you and the team, Paul. Now, finally, what are the next steps? What can investors watch for from here?
Dr Paul MacLeman: So, in terms of the GE Healthcare deal we've been actively screening bench scientists to begin working on this program. And so we've been working behind the scenes to make ourselves agreement ready if you like. And so we intend to hit the ground running with GE to start work on their programs as soon as possible. In parallel, as you say, we've been making final preparations for our human trial. And so the next milestone to watch for is the release of data from a key toxicology study which really enables that first clinical trial. We expect that to be out in October. And then it's a short runway between October and the commencement of AD-214 human dosing in January, which will also be obviously a hugely significant inflection point for the company.
In the interim, the boards will have progressed on the process of procuring a full-time CEO, and we'll communicate that appointment once it's been made. So, there's lots going on, and the team remains very focused on reaching all of our objectives.
Rachael Jones: Dr Paul MacLeman, congratulations once again, and thank you for the update.
Dr Paul MacLeman: Thanks for your time, really appreciate it.