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Destiny Pharma targets $1bn US market with anti-microbial resistant drug
Clinical stage biotech company Destiny Pharma (DEST:AIM) is taking on antimicrobial resistance with its anti-infective XF-73 treatment in hopes of taking a share of the $1bn US market. Antimicrobial resistance occurs if a micro-organism is able to stop an antimicrobial, including antibiotics, from working against it.
Destiny Pharma joined the stock market in September 2017 and is planning to start a Phase IIb trial later this year for its lead candidate XF-73, with data expected in mid-2019.
HOW DOES XF-73 WORK?
XF-73 is an exciting drug product designed to rapidly bind to bacterial membrane, making it porous and forcing the bacteria to leak out, killing it within 15 minutes.
Destiny Pharma is targeting superbug MRSA. XF-73 shows early promise as the bacteria did not demonstrate any resistance after 55 repeat exposures.
WHY XF-73 IS ‘SIGNIFICANTLY DE-RISKED’
Investing in pharmaceutical firms can be risky due to the possibility of clinical trial failure or the company running out of money in the early stages where it is generating limited or no revenue.
Destiny Pharma is fully funded for its Phase IIb trial, with FinnCap analyst Mark Brewer forecasting it has enough cash until the end of 2020.
‘Additional funding will be required to take XF-73 into a Phase III trial should the company elect to do so, by which point we expect a licence/partnership deal to have been signed for Western markets,’
The anti-infective is significantly de-risked after five successful Phase I/IIa clinical trials proved it was safe. Investors should note these trials make it more likely the upcoming data will be positive, but this is not guaranteed.
Last month, Destiny Pharma announced XF-73 has been designated a Qualified Infectious Disease Product by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Essentially this means the FDA will fast track its review and provide an additional five years of marketing exclusivity.
WHY IS ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE SO DANGEROUS?
Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a huge threat, prompting urgent calls for treatments from the likes of the World Healthcare Organisation.
In 2016, economist Lord Jim O’Neill estimated 700,000 deaths globally could be attributed to anti-microbial resistance every year.
He warned the number of deaths associated with antimicrobial resistance will outstrip deaths from cancer and diabetes combined by 2050.
Brewer says antimicrobial resistance is being taken more seriously, flagging financial penalties in the US for hospitals with consistently high levels of MRSA.
A US launch for Destiny Pharma’s potential blockbuster drug has been targeted for between 2020 and 2021. (LMJ)