Pharma Equity Group utvecklar nya läkemedel för lokal behandling av allvarliga och livshotande inflammatoriska sjukdomar för vilka det för närvarande inte finns någon adekvat behandling. Bolaget använder ompositionering av befintliga läkemedel och tar läkemedelskandidater till ett kliniskt fas III-stadium, varefter de överlämnas till en strategisk partner som kommer att slutföra utvecklingen av produkterna och föra ut dem på marknaden, antingen självständigt eller i samarbete med bolaget.
CEO Thomas Kaas Selsø
For those unfamiliar with Pharma Equity Group, can you provide a short overview of your company?
Pharma Equity Group, primarily a holding company, acquired Reponex Pharmaceuticals, focusing on Reponex´s potential drug candidates over the next few years. We’re using drug repositioning, which allows us to enter phase 2 trials quickly due to existing data, aiming to partner with licensing companies for the phase 3 stage. We currently have 4 promising candidates on their way to licensing agreements. Our main focus will be on Reponex Pharmaceuticals for the next three years and currently we have promising candidates for various conditions. For example, we’re developing a gel for chronic ulcers in patients with heart issues or obesity, treatments for Crohn’s disease, treatments of bacterial peritonitis and potential therapies for colorectal cancer. We estimate a significant addressable market for these treatments, from 1.5-2 billion USD for bacterial peritonitis alone, emphasizing the substantial opportunities ahead. With our business method of moving directly from phase 2 to licensing agreements and phase 3, we’re set to leverage our business model’s shorter time to market and lower cost base to deliver value to our shareholders.
Can you elaborate on the concept of drug repositioning?
Drug repositioning is a well-known method where existing medicine is used for other diseases and administered in new ways. It’s like what happened with Viagra, which was originally for chest pain but found a different application. We’re applying a similar strategy, using drugs with established safety profiles – for new indications and uses. This lets us skip phase 1 trials, going straight to phase 2, and partner with others for the more resource-intensive phase 3 stage. This business model allows us to bring drugs to the market faster than traditional methods, but with the same upside and with reduced costs, without the traditionally associated risks.
Could you explain how you are able to skip over to phase 1 directly?
If the data is strong enough, it’s possible to bypass phase 1 and proceed directly to phase 2. This requires a solid foundation of preliminary studies and convincing documentation to support the transition and provide proof of concept. Our methodological approaches, as demonstrated by the patents we hold and the number of candidates on the cusp of licensing agreements, have streamlined this process for us. Furthermore, when using already marketed products, you get the benefit of having a great knowledge of their safety and toxicity parameters beforehand, which means that you already know that the products are safe. Looking ahead, if we invest in new companies, we’ll likely target those already in phase 2. However, this will depend on the quality of the data and current market outlook, which also influences the cost. However, we are open to exploring drugs in phase 1 if the data is promising.
Additionally, we are considering acquiring drug candidates with existing revenue streams in order to generate cash flow to support other programs and drugs in the existing portfolio.
Could you delve deeper into the different companies currently in your portfolio?
At present, our portfolio consists solely of Reponex Pharmaceuticals. However, we are actively assessing the market for additional opportunities that align with our business strategy and that could enhance our current portfolio of drugs and our company in general.
What impact do the new board members have on your strategy?
Omar Qandeel, one of our new board members, brings a strategic advantage with his extensive experience in large corporations like Fujifilm and Kawasaki. His insights will be pivotal in entering new markets, attracting investors, and securing licensing partners. This is a great addition – in line with our strategic outlook, and Omar brings a lot to the table. Currently, our focus lies on expanding the reach of Reponex Pharmaceuticals and presenting our promising drug candidates to future investors, expanding and increasing our company’s visibility and market exposure.
Considering the rapidly evolving medical landscape and the regulatory environment encompassing it, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for the sector in Europe in the near future?
Regarding the medical landscape and regulatory environment in Europe, I believe Europe is leading the way in regulatory aspects. When compared to the U.S. market, European countries are more efficient in approving drug candidates without imposing excessive regulations. The pricing levels and the support from individual countries also present challenges, as they could impact development plans. However, political challenges aside, there are also opportunities, especially if we establish good relationships within certain countries or regulatory bodies. Our agile approach and organizational efficiency, stemming from the outsourcing that we do, position us to adapt quickly to changes in the pharma industry and the regulatory aspects revolving around it.
Looking ahead, where do you envision Pharma Equity Group to be in 3-5 years?
Looking ahead, I envision our company, within the next three to five years, to have secured most of the licensing partners we need for our existing drug candidates and to have a stronger presence in the European market. We’re also looking to expand into the Japanese market, leveraging the connections we have with corporations, hospitals and the medical sector in the country. Our focus will be on generating revenue and capitalizing on our current drug candidates. If even one of them yields positive data that secures a licensing, it will have a significant and positive impact on our company.
Could you highlight three reasons why an investment in Pharma Equity is compelling today?
There are three key reasons to invest in our company:
Firstly, we have significant potential that is not yet reflected in our current valuation.
Secondly, our first and largest asset, Reponex, has a unique business model that allows for faster market entry and revenue generation with relatively low costs and high potential upside.
Finally, our strategic approach within the organization is to maintain a low-cost base by outsourcing as much as possible. We’re also focused on repositioning and repurposing drugs, which can significantly reduce the development time. Important to note is that we do not intend to engage in expensive phase 3 trials, but instead aim to find the right licensing partners, which is an attractive strategy for both us and for investors.