Interview with Pharma Equity Group’s CEO Thomas Kaas Selsø


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.