Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE, FSE:R9Q) developing new classes of synthetic anti-infectives


by Rachael Jones

Recce Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:RCE, FSE:R9Q) CEO and Managing Director James Graham talks about progress with the company's lead anti-infective candidate Recce 327, its expanding portfolio of synthetic anti-infectives targeting viral pathogens and a broad range of bacteria, clinical trial results and priorities for 2021.

Rachael Jones:
Hello. I'm Rachael Jones for the Finance News Network. Joining me from Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE) is CEO and MD James Graham. James, welcome back to FNN.

James Graham: Hi, Rachael.

Rachael Jones: Now, James, Recce is concentrating on a range of synthetic anti-infectives. Can you tell me more about this?

James Graham: Yes. Recce is really tackling the global infectious disease crisis with two lead compounds, one tackling the global health threat of antibiotic resistance or superbugs, and the other tackling coronavirus head on, as a priority one test candidate here in Australia, and as a candidate in United States as well.

Rachael Jones: Thanks, James. Now, this time last year when we spoke, we were just on the verge of the pandemic. And, obviously, clinical trials were disrupted by this. How did you navigate that last year, and how's progress now?

James Graham: It was a bit of a hit to the system for us and all others, but really where we found some challenge we actually found opportunity. And that came with utilising our unique class of synthetic anti-infectives across whole new unmet medical needs, coronavirus, Helicobacter pylori, sepsis, and others. The challenges only begin with a crisis such as that.

Rachael Jones: Now let's talk about your portfolio in more detail. What can you tell me about Recce 327?

James Graham: We have two key clinical assets, that being Recce 327 as an intravascular administration, with a future indication of sepsis septicaemia or blood poisoning, actually the most expensive condition treated in health. The second clinical asset is a topical burn wound application as a broad spectrum antibiotic. That study is actually led by a former Australian of the Year, Professor Fiona Wood, and colleagues, on her vulnerable burn patient population. So, two key clinical assets, as well as a number of preclinical programs, working with the likes of the Australian Government and similar around the world in significant unmet medical needs.

Rachael Jones: And what can you tell me about Recce 529?

James Graham: Yeah, 529 was really building upon the existing development of Recce 327. 529 as a compound has an enhanced affinity for the protein envelopes associated with viral cells. So, really that ability to have a hyper attraction to the cell, inter-react with the viral cell itself, particularly coronavirus-focused, is something that has a higher utility or a higher capability when it comes to our studies to date.

Rachael Jones: And what about Recce 435?

James Graham: Yeah, 435 is an oral-focused compound. So, the compound is for basically oral administration into the gastrointestinal tract. It's focused on Helicobacter pylori, which is the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. It affects tens of millions of people each year. And the combination therapy that is to treat Helicobacter pylori is something that simply no longer works. So, our compound gets in, inter-reacts with the bad bacteria in the upper duodenum , avoiding the good bacteria in the lower due to its propensity of breaking down, allowing for effectively the ultimate compound in its performance.

Rachael Jones: Thanks, James. Now to corporate matters. Can you tell me about your capital positions? And, also, can you talk about your recent listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange?

James Graham: Yeah, certainly. So, late last year we did a placement amongst institutional and high net worth investors, raising around $28 million in our new equity. That capital leaves us in this position of a financial footprint of around $23 million cash at bank. Our budget suggests that's about three years of future runway. But I really think, because of the natural clinical developments that could occur of a portfolio of new products, two years with no debt and 100 per cent security of our intellectual property sees us in good stead to carry forth. And also our dual listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange was a natural step for the company. As we move from a preclinical stage into a clinical stage, we start to take this incredibly unique technology into a larger patient population that just isn't addressable here in Australia. So, I see our activity in Europe and as a stepping stone beyond as a very natural step and a positive progression for the company.

Rachael Jones: And you've just had your antiviral patent granted in Europe. What can you tell me about this?

James Graham: Yes. Our European antiviral patent family three actually follows the granting of the same family in Japan, which really starts to represent about a third of the global pharmaceutical market tied up as a unique assets of our company. It captures things such as influenza, coronavirus, hepatitis, Ross River. It's a significant advance in the company's intellectual property position. And I think it's only suggestive of the recognition of the importance of new medicine along the way.

Rachael Jones: And, James, what is the long-term strategy of the company, and how is that evolving?

James Graham: Our strategy at this time is to continue to develop our compounds, to really see if they can have that global impact that studies to date have indicated, to put us in what I believe will be a very valuable and perhaps unique position to consider licensing the type discussions as the early discussions with those type of partners have already begun in the background.

Rachael Jones: Thanks, James. And, to the last question now, is there anything else you'd like to add?

James Graham: We are an infectious disease company in the midst of a global infectious disease crisis. Gone are the days where you take one antibiotic to overcome the same infection. And a similar challenge is represented amongst coronavirus itself. With a good balance sheet and an incredibly exciting technology across a multiple of activities, the business is well funded to get ahead, and we welcome shareholders to join us.

Rachael Jones: James Graham, thanks so much for the update today.

James Graham: Thank you.


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