SUDA Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:SUD) Managing Director & CEO, Stephen Carter discusses the company's portfolio and the benefits of reformulating and delivering medication through the oral mucosa.
Anna Napoli: Hello and Anna Napoli for the Finance News Network. And joining me now from SUDA Pharmaceuticals (ASX:SUD) is CEO and MD, Stephen Carter. Stephen, welcome to FNN.
Stephen Carter: Thank you Anna. Pleasure to be here.
Anna Napoli: First off, could you start with an introduction to the company?
Stephen Carter: Yeah, certainly. SUDA Pharmaceutical companies is a Perth- based company. We are focused on the reformulation and repurposing of existing blockbuster drugs, from usually solid form into an oral spray. And an oral spray as simple as this. This is just water you're not going to get any drugs. But by making a simple oral spray, we bring a significant number of advantages to the product.
Anna Napoli: Stephen, what are some of the advantages of oral sprays as opposed to traditional drugs?
Stephen Carter: There are a number of significant advantages in using oral spray. When people take drugs, they normally take a tablet, and tablets are very inefficient. Quite often only 10 to 30 per cent of the drug that you actually take in the tablet, will actually get into the bloodstream. And the reason for that is the moment you take the tablet, it starts to break down. As it gets into your stomach, the acids in your stomach break it down, then it gets absorbed in through the stomach and goes in through the liver. And as it goes through the liver, it is further metabolised and broken down, and quite often the product of that can be toxic and create problems there.
When we spray into the mouth, we spray directly into the mouth. The drug then goes across the cheeks, into the bloodstream. Goes down through the jugular drainage system, directly into the blood supply, therefore bypassing the problem of degradation in the stomach, and bypassing the problem with first pass metabolism. So you need a lot less drug, it works a lot faster and you potentially get a lot less side effects.
Anna Napoli: Turning to your portfolio, Stephen, can you tell us more, starting with the ZolpiMist.
Stephen Carter: ZolpiMist is a sleep medication that's already been approved in the US by the FDA. So we have finished the development of that product, and we are currently licensing that product out around the world. It's already been licensed to TEVA for Latin America, Mexico, and other territories. It's licensed to a Mitsubishi for 10 countries in the Asian region. We have it licensed in China. And we currently have a number of term sheets in place to cover the rest of the world. So we're looking at trying to globalise that product.
Anna Napoli: And what about the Anagrelide?
Stephen Carter: Anagrelide is a very exciting project for SUDA (ASX:SUD). Anagrelide is a drug that's been around for in excess of 20 years, and it's used in a rare disease called essential thrombocythocemia, which is actually just a high level of platelets which causes clotting disorders. We are looking to reduce the number of platelets in cancer patients. And the reason for that is that platelets actually have a dual effect. Not only do they stop clotting, but they protect cancer cells as cancer cells travel around the body. The moment a cancer cell breaks off and starts to travel, the platelets surround it and protect it from the immune system. When the cancer cell finds a home on a cell wall, the platelets continue to protect it from the immune system, but they also provide it with the chemicals it needs to make a blood supply, to grow and to divide.
The cancer knows that, so I sent a message back out to the body to make more platelets, so the body makes more platelets. And what we see is, cancer patients with high level of platelet counts, have very poor survival rates. By reducing the number of platelets, we expose the cancer to the immune system, we expose to cancer to the advantages that are coming to play with the new immunotherapy drugs such as Keytruda and others. And we also reduce the ability for the cancer to grow. And by doing that, we reduce the number of clotting events which result in mortality and morbidity in these cancer patients. So we believe we can actually improve the survival rates of cancer patients by providing an oral spray of Anagrelide.
Anna Napoli: Fantastic. And how about co-development?
Stephen Carter: So we have got a number of co-development projects going on. Strides, a large Indian conglomerate, we're developing sumatriptan for the US market for them. That's a significant project for us. We have all the licenses to deal with cannabis products, and we have two cannabis co-development projects. One with Zelda Pharmaceuticals (ASX:ZLD), and one with CanPharma Pharmaceuticals. We have a number of other co-development projects currently in the pipeline that we're are working on with partners.
Anna Napoli: Well, that's great. There's a lot in the pipeline there. Last question, Stephen, is there anything else you'd like to add?
Stephen Carter: I think one of the significant opportunities here for potential investors is that the company is currently from a share price at its nadir. And we only see good news coming up from here. We see that there is an opportunity for investors to get in at this point, and to capitalize on the work that's been done up to now.
Anna Napoli: Stephen Carter, SUDO Pharmaceuticals (ASX:SUD). Thank you so much for your time.
Stephen Carter: It's been a pleasure. Thank you very much.